The Law in These Parts
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Ra’anan Alexandrowicz
The Law in These Parts looks at the same issue as another World Cinema Documentary Competition film, 5 Broken Camera: Israel’s control over the West Bank. After seeing both films, it feels impossible to review one without referencing the other. Although both films cover essentially the same topic, the manner in which they are told and the perspective differ. While 5 Broken Cameras, told from the lines of the Palestinian protest effort with hand-held footage, feels chaotic, The Law in These Parts is extremely methodical. Israeli filmmaker, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz states at the beginning of the film that he isn’t interested in those who “broke the law,” but rather “those entrusted with the law.” The documentary proceeds more like an interrogation than an interview. A variety of former military judges—many who are now quite old—who helped develop, implement and enforce the laws that have governed Palestinians living in the land occupied by Israel since 1967 are intensely questioned by the filmmaker about how the laws came to be. The interviews are combined with historical footage from the last 40 years of protests, trials, court proceedings and interrogations. Alexandrowicz digs into past cases and asks these aging men to explain and discuss their decisions. As the film progresses Alexandrowicz slowly raises a number of questions related to Israel’s occupation and settlement of the land. He points out a number of times when the Israeli government violated the Geneva convention—like seizing agricultural land to build settlements and punitively demolishing houses of the accused. Although the documentary is admittedly one-sided, by the films end Alexandrowicz reaches an unexpected and insightful conclusion. The Law in These Parts isn’t for everyone, but for those interested in the politics of the Middle East it’s a must see.
Time: 3:00 pm Date: 1/24/2012 Place: Temple Theatre
Time: 6:30 pm Date: 1/26/2012 Place: Redstone Cinema 8
Time: 7:00 pm Date: 1/27/2012 Place: Holiday Village Cinema 4