What She Said


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“She had a more positive influence on the climate for film in America than any other single person over the last three decades.” 

Roger Ebert

“It turns out to embody something appalling and widespread in the culture.” 

-Renata Adler, in the New York Review of Books


Pauline Kael (1919-2001) was likely the most powerful, and personal, movie critic of the 20th century. Writing for The New Yorker and publishing a dozen best-selling books, she ruthlessly pursued what made a movie or an actor’s performance work, or not, and why. Her passion made her both admired and despised amongst her readers.

Pauline’s own story is one of struggle and obsession: the fight to establish her voice and have it heard, and raise a daughter on her own in a time when the obstacles were high.

Her career began as the Hollywood studio system ended, and finished just as the digital age was born.

The latter golden age of movies of the 1960s and 1970s are the focus of this film that pursues the question of what made Pauline Kael’s work so individual, so influential — and so damned good.



Telluride Film Festival
World Premiere
Colorado, September 2018

New York Premiere
New York, NY, November 2018

Palm Springs Film Festival
California, January 2019

International Premiere
Germany, February 2019

Miami Film Festival
Florida, March 2019

Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival
Greece, March 2019

Sofia International Film Festival
Bulgaria, March 2019

Hong Kong International Film Festival
China, March 2019

Athena Film Festival
New York City, March 2019

San Luis Obispo Film Festival
California, March 2019

Gasparilla Film Festival
Florida, March 2019

Boulder Jewish Film Festival
Colorado, March 2019

Cleveland International Film Festival
Ohio, April 2019

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Film Festival
Minnesota, April 2019

Denver Film Society Women + Film Festival
Colorado, April 2019

Freep Film Festival
Michigan, April 2019

BAFICI (Buenos Aires International Festival
of Independent Cinema)

Argentina, April 2019

Newport Beach Film Festival
California, May 2019

Montclair Film Festival
New Jersey, May 2019

Seattle International Film Festival
Washington State, May 2019

Doc Against Gravity
Poland, May 2019

DocAviv Documentary Film Festival
Israel, May 2019

Berkshires International Film Festival
Opening Night
Massachusetts, May 2019

Provincetown Film Festival
Massachusetts, June 2019

Edinburgh International Film Festival
UK Premiere
Scotland, June 2019

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival
Czech Republic, June-July 2019

Maine International Film Festival
Waterville, July 2019

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival
Local Spotlight, Bay Area Premiere
San Francisco, July-August 2019

New Zealand International Film Festival
Wellington, July-August 2019

Jerusalem Film Festival
Israel, July-August 2019

St. Petersburg, September 2019

Pacific Meridian Film Festival
Vladivostok, September 2019

Vancouver International Film Festival
Canada, September-October 2019

Film Festival Ghent
Belgium, October 2019

Portugal, October 2019

Tallgrass Film Festival
Kansas, October 2019

Loft Film Festival
Arizona, November 2019



Quentin Tarantino
David O. Russell
Alec Baldwin
Francis Ford Coppola
Paul Schrader
John Boorman
Robert Towne
Joe Morgenstern
James Wolcott
Gina James
William Whitworth
Marcia Nasatir
Christopher Durang
John Guare
Carol Baum
Tom Pollock
Molly Haskell
David V. Picker
David Edelstein
George Malko
Stephanie Zacharek
Greil Marcus
Craig Seligman
Michael Sragow
Brian Kellow
Carrie Rickey
Daryl Chin
Philip Lopate
Lili Anolik
Daniel Menaker
Jaime Manrique
Camille Paglia
Laurence McGilvery
Ortun Neisar
Chester Villalba
Dirk van Nouhays

Pauline’s voiceover performed by Sarah Jessica Parker


“I try to use my initial responses to explore not only what a movie means to me, but what it may mean to others: to get at the many ways in which movies, by affecting us on sensual and primitive levels, are a supremely pleasurable and dangerous art form.”

-Pauline Kael


For bookings in North America, please contact Elizabeth Sheldon at Juno Films: elizabeth@junofilms.com

For international sales inquiries, contact Salma Abdalla at Autlook Films:  salma@autlookfilms.com
For international festival inquiries, contact Stephanie Fuchs at stephanie@autlookfilms.com