Israeli film on West Bank justice wins at Sundance


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli film on the military’s legal system in the West Bank was named the best foreign documentary at the Sundance Film Festival.

"The Law in These Parts," which took the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary on Jan. 28, features interviews with former Israel Defense Forces legal officials in charge of the army’s judicial system in the West Bank. Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, an Israeli, directed the film, which also won as best documentary at the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival.

"This is an amazing moment for me as a filmmaker, but it’s a film about a painful and unresolved subject," Alexandrowicz said during his acceptance speech. "What you find out in the film, and in other films in this festival, is that upholding law doesn’t always lead to justice. It can even be used as a tool against certain segments of society. We have to oppose them, and if necessary we have to break them."

"Five Broken Cameras," a joint Palestinian, Israeli and French production, won the World Cinema Documentary directing award. Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat directed the film; it was co-directed by Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi.

The film is an account of the weekly, and often violent, protests in Bil’in against Israeli’s security fence. 

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