Directed by Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
2012, 101 minutes
Purchase: $195 | Classroom rental: $125
to download POV's free discussion guide
What is legal and what is just? Through candid, first-ever, interviews with Israeli judges, prosecutors and legal advisors, The Law In These Parts
– winner of the Documentary Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival – is a gripping and revelatory investigation into the legal framework put in place by Israel to govern the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Since Israel conquered the territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the 1967 war, the military has imposed thousands of orders and laws, established military courts, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, enabled half a million Israeli "settlers" to move to the Occupied Territories and developed a system of long-term jurisdiction by an occupying army that is unique in the entire world.
The men entrusted with creating this new legal framework were the members of Israel's military legal corps. Responding to a constantly changing reality, these legal professionals have faced (and continue to face) complex judicial and moral dilemmas in order to develop and uphold a system of long-term military “rule by law” of an occupied population, all under the supervision of Israel's Supreme Court, and, according to Israel, in complete accordance with international law.
The Law In These Parts
explores this unprecedented and little-known story through testimonies of the military legal professionals who were the architects of the system and helped run it in its formative years. The film attempts to ask some crucial questions that are often skirted or avoided: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principals of rule-of-law? Should it? Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values?
* Winner, Grand Jury Prize, Documentary World Cinema, Sundance Film Festival
* Winner, Best Documentary, Jerusalem Film Festival
* Winner, Special Jury Award, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
* Winner, Special Jury Prize, HotDocs Film Festival
"A really fascinating, meticulous kind of dissection of how the law in the occupied territories came to be." - Kenneth Turan, NPR
"A gripping new documentary. The film draws its power not from interviews with Palestinians-that would be the predictable approach. Instead, director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz turns the camera on the military judges tasked with imposing order and meting out punishment in the West Bank and Gaza during more than 43 years of Israeli rule." - Newsweek
"An engrossing new Israeli documentary." - New York Review of Books
"Superb. Fascinating. A brilliantly complex film." - Los Angeles Times
"One of Israel's most creative nonfiction filmmakers. Ra'anan Alexandrowicz poses his questions from a legal angle, and finds these minds stumped by a system they've professionally defended." - Variety
"Brilliant." - Film Comment
" Highly Recommended
. "It is difficult to conceive of a more potent, relevant work with such a unique assemblage of interviewees, and a creative yet surgical approach.” - Educational Media Reviews Online
“With historical footage as a background, this film presents some very interesting questions about order, justice and security. This film is highly recommended for all libraries and will serve as an excellent starting point to further explore issues of democracy, security and human rights
.” - Sonia Smith, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Association of Jewish Libraries Reviews
" By juxtaposing interviews with archival footage, the film finds an innovative way for viewers to hear from the occupiers and the occupied simultaneously... This film will be of interest to all those with an eye on Israel's occupied territories." - Library Journal
The New York Times, Op-Doc by director Ra'anan Alexndrowicz, "The Justice of Occupation" (LINK)
New York Review of Books, "How The Occupation Became Legal" (LINK)
Haaretz, Interview with director Ra'anan Alexandrowicz (LINK)
The Law in These Parts (Trailer) from Cinema Guild on Vimeo.