The International Women's Film Festival continues at the Fox International Theater, 620 Lincoln Blvd., Venice, with an array of outstanding work by women film makers.
Women in the process of liberating themselves are often abrasive, and to their credit Hungary's Marta Meszaros, in her "Nine Months" (today) and Sweden's Gunnel Lindblom, in her "Sally and Freedom" (Saturday) do not in any way soften their portraits of such women while never losing their compassion for them. Meszaros' heroine (Lili Monori) is a factory worker who resists settling down with her handsome, loving boss (Jan Nowicki); Lindblom's heroine (Eva Froling), in a need for independence, walks out on her loving husband only to find she can't handle the freedom offered by her new lover (Hans Wigren).
The only film in the series to have a local run is Euzhan Palcy's irresistible "Sugar Cane Alley" (Thursday) about an indomitable elderly Martinique black woman (Darling Legitimus) determined that her bright grandson will escape a life cutting sugar cane. Another Meszaros film, "Adoption" (Wednesday), shown at Filmex '76, is an impressive, low-key study of a 43-year-old widow (Kati Berek) yearning for motherhood.
Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Wajda's frequent collaborator, is represented by the powerful, courageous "Provincial Actors" (Thursday), which offers a tense, claustrophobic view of the strife-ridden marriage--a metaphor for life in Poland--of a pair of actors (Tadeusz Huk, Halina Labonarska) in a small theatrical troupe taken over by a Warsaw director who proceeds to strip the play they are mounting of all political implications. The late Jennifer Kendal, best known for her appearances in the films of James Ivory, is radiant in Aparna Sen's deeply felt, occasionally awkward "36 Chowringee Lane" (Saturday) as an Anglo-Indian spinster.