Tuesday, May 01, 2012

The Law in These Parts

There was a full theater for the weekday afternoon screening of The Law in These Parts at the SF International Film Festival. This documentary examines the Israeli military justice system imposed on territories occupied in the 1967 war. This special judicial system was designed to provide a sense of law & order while avoiding giving the occupied people the same rights as Israeli citizens. Director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz sat lawyers & judges who worked in these military courts against a green screen & interviewed them while projecting footage of the occupied territories behind them. The movie is a continuous outpouring of their patient explanations, even as the questions become increasingly incriminating.

The director was present & spoke so intelligently that I think he should be required at every screening. We learned that he decided not to include any Palestinians in the film, because he wanted to avoid the victims having to tell the story. He instead showed professional people that an Israeli audience would easily identify with. During the Q&A, the festival audience shouted down a woman who kept addressing Mr. Alexandrowicz directly. When another woman worried that the film might be propaganda & used by people who are anti-Israeli, Mr. Alexandrowicz called her out for thinking of the occupation as synonymous with Israel.

§ Shilton Ha Chok / The Law in These Parts
director, Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
Israel/USA/Germany, 2011, 101 min

55th San Francisco International Film Festival
Wed, Apr 25    6:30 / PFA
Sun, Apr 29    6:15 / Kabuki
Tue, May 1    2:30 / Kabuki

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