She’s Gotta Have It
Out now on Netflix
Spike Lee has adapted and updated his 1986 debut film into a ten-part Netflix series. Centring on a young African-American woman, it tackles urgent issues from Black Lives Matter to street harassment. Nola Darling, a “sex-positive polyamorous pansexual”, juggles her art, her love of film, the cost of living in gentrifying New York, and lovers and friends. This is a confident, timely and entertaining examination of life in America, underlaid with anger and wit.
Dir Ai Weiwei. In selected cinemas from 8 December
This film by the renowned Chinese artist is an epic and urgent treatment of the refugee crisis on a global scale. Focusing in on individuals in European refugee camps, and using drones to zoom out to the bigger picture, he shows the human consequences of political decisions. The film’s visual scope conveys the enormity of the problem in a way that dizzying statistics fail to do.
Hannah Ryggen: Woven Histories
Modern Art Oxford until 18 February 2018
This is the first major show of works by important Scandinavian artist Hannah Ryggen, whose work spans the 20th century. From early anti-fascism to the fight against the Vietnam War, her vibrant and intricate tapestries comment on the social world she inhabited as well as how it is portrayed in the media.
Surrealism in Egypt: Art et Liberté 1938–48
Tate Liverpool until 18 March 2018
This major exhibition charts Egypt’s Art and Liberty collective of artists, photographers, writers and intellectuals through its highpoint from 1938 to 1948.
With more than 125 works and 150 archival documents, this is the first full show of the Egyptian group which embraced foreign-born artists and influences. The group protested at British colonial power, the monarchy, the police and the nationalists. This show brings a little known piece of art history — and some stunning images — to light.
Feud: Bette and Joan
On BBC2 from 16 December
From the creator of American Horror Story and Glee comes this eight-part drama based on the real life rivalry between Hollywood stars Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange excel in the lead roles, exposing the complex sexism in the system, the continued existence of which has come so grimly to the fore recently. The story is set in the 1960s, with both women, now in their 50s, facing career trouble. Will working together on Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? provide a solution?