The Law in These Parts: Israeli Documenraty
Internationally awarded documentary by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz at the San Francisco Internaitonal Film Festival
Wednesday, April 25, 2012 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Pacific Film Archive Theater • 2575 Bancroft Way, Berkeley
The Law in These Parts
focuses sharply on the 45-year-old Israeli military justice system: a parallel military legal system that rules people who live under occupation, in the same territory as Israeli citizens. Director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz calls the system’s architects and defenders, judges and prosecutors to the witness stand, and Justice Meir Shamgar emerges as a key figure.
A retired Brigadier General, he devised legal cover to confiscate Palestinian land for Israeli settlements, and then presided on the Israeli Supreme Court, the final point of appeal for Palestinians. So what does rule-of-law really mean? Or justice? “History will tell,” some of them reply. Archival footage from decades of occupation, including the incessant demolition of Palestinian homes, is inventively juxtaposed with insider interviews, as cinematographer Shark De Mayo brings visual weight to the director’s insistent probing of topics many would prefer to avoid. By clarifying a system that goes to the heart of Israeli democracy, their efforts allow viewers to feel the moral price. Ten years into the “global war on terror,” this story sounds a necessary alarm.
Award-winning films built the international reputation of Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, one of Israel’s most creative filmmakers. Earlier work includes the documentary The Inner Tour
(SFIFF 2002) and feature James’ Journey to Jerusalem
(SFIFF 2004). While making The Inner Tour
, Alexandrowicz found himself in a military courtroom, a life-changing experience that inspired The Law in These Parts
, which this year won the Sundance World Cinema Documentary prize. “I had to find a way,” says Alexandrowicz, “to engage and implicate the audience in this journey into the heart of Israel’s moral quandary—and the basic universal questions that it raises.