Israeli directors Ra’anan Alexandrowicz and Emad Burnat have forever put their
stamp on Israeli cinema. Alexandrowicz’s film The Law In These Parts won the
World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary Film at the Sundance Film Festival.
Burnat took home the World Cinema Documentary Directing Award for his film 5
The Law In These Parts is a critical investigation of the
IDF’s court system.
Through interviews with the lawmakers that engineered
and implemented the complicated web of military laws currently in place,
Alexandrowicz asks many crucial questions about the occupation.
project, Alexandrowicz rounded up a veritable who’s who of military attorneys
including Justice Amnon Strashnov, Alexander Ramati, Dov Shefi and Justice Meir
Though few of these are household names, their work has affected
thousands and thousands of lives. In the film, Alexandrowicz asks these men to
consider the consequences of the laws they brought about, eliciting incredibly
candid and uncomfortable moments.
The film has been picking up speed in
recent months, with showings around Israel and feedback sessions with
Alexandrowicz. In 2011, the film won best documentary at the Jerusalem Film
Festival. Though this is not the film’s first prize, it is certainly a
formidable one. The invitation to Sundance marked a major moment for The Law In
These Parts. The award marks an even bigger step for both Alexandrowicz and the
story he has told with this film.
“This is the hardest film I’ve made,”
said Alexandrowicz shortly after the awards ceremony. “This is an amazing moment
for me as a filmmaker, but it’s a film about a painful and unresolved subject.
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.”
5 Broken Cameras, written by Guy Davidi and directed
together with Burnat, was a joint Palestinian, Israeli and French
The film follows Burnat and his budding family over the
course of several years in their West Bank village of Bil’in. Burnat is engaged
in filming the nonviolent struggle against the erection of a separation barrier
near his home. As the film progresses, the struggle begins to play a larger and
larger role in Burnat’s everyday life and the lives of his family
The title 5 Broken Cameras refers to the many recording devices
that were destroyed by Israeli soldiers during confrontations with the
inhabitants of Bil’in.
“I can’t believe I’m standing here,” said Burnat.
“This film was a gift from the beginning. It was a gift for me to go to this
village building where I spent many years.”
For more information about
The Law In These Parts, visit www.thelawfilm.com and for 5 Broken Cameras
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