Stranger Says: Remarkable youth performances anchor Vivian Qu’s rigorous procedural about the adults who exploit children—and the systemic misogyny that protects them. Mia, who is undocumented, is working at a seaside motel when a prominent citizen checks in with two underage girls. When their parents find out, the police launch an investigation, but at every turn, women take the blame for the actions of men. Even Wen’s mother holds the 12-year-old responsible, but these girls—like this film—are tougher than they look.
by Kathy Fennessy