NZFF Review – The Law In These Parts

by / 31/07/12

THE LAW IN THESE PARTS 
Dir: Alexandrowicz

As a precis of the problems with the legal system governing occupied Palestine, Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s documentary is effective; as a call to arms against an unjust system, it’s emotive and persuasive. Alexandrowicz doesn’t really give his subjects, former military judges, supreme court justices and prosecutors all, a lot of room to breathe – his editing is intrusive and his unabashed acknowledgment of his layman’s position means that he shoots for breadth rather than depth, prodding his subjects on things that are emotionally compelling but don’t necessarily speak to the flaws in the institution they have the most knowledge of—the judiciary (which seems to Alexandrowicz’s primary focus). However, what he does include is compelling and at times incendiary—the ludicrously archaic concept of ‘Mawat Land’ gets a lot of time (and Alexander Ramati’s cagey response on whether he thinks suggesting it to Sharon was ‘the right thing to do’ is troubling), and Jonathan Livny’s point-blank admission that he knew about GSS officers torturing Palestinians under administrative arrest (contradicting a government report on the issue) is twice as effective for Livny’s visible anger and sadness at being asked. It’s an interesting documentary, but it could do a lot more.

The Verdict: B

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