Israel, 2011, 101'
The Law in These Parts
Before the Law
"This is a documentary film", announces filmmaker Ra'anan Alexandrowicz, in voice-over, in the beginning of The Law in These Parts. The film explores the four-decade-old Israeli military legal system in the Occupied Territories and argues that, since Israel conquered the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 War, it used the pretense of law to dominate and disenfranchise Palestinians. By investigating the legal system in the occupied territories, the film suggests that, in this case, law has been nothing more than an alibi for power, as the act of justice is incompatible with occupation.
The story is told soberly through first-hand testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and the use of archive footage shot throughout the years by Israeli crews (a one-sidedness assumed by Alexandrowicz). The film-maker’s decision to frame his argument through a reference to documentary deontology adds another layer to the project, by pointing to the arbitrariness and the subjectivity largely allowed by both law-making and documentary film-making. Both ‘reality’ and ‘the law’ can be malleable and open to re-interpretation, suggests the film. Only the degree of damage varies.
14 March, 18:00, Cinemateca Eforie
15 March, 16:00, Cinema Union
World Cinema Grand Jury Documentary Prize, Sundance Film Festival, USA, 2012
Special Jury Prize for International Feature, Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Canada, 2012
Special Jury Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, USA, 2012
Best Documentary, Jerusalem Film Festival, Israel, 2011