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The Law in These Parts
SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.78:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • Hebrew Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Theatrical trailer

The Law in These Parts


Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Ra'anan Alexandrowicz
2011 | 101 Minutes

Release Information
DVD | MSRP: $29.95 | Series: Cinema Guild
Cinema Guild

Release Date: June 4, 2013
Review Date: July 15, 2013

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SYNOPSIS

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?


PICTURE

Cinema Guild presents Ra'anan Alexandrowiczís documentary The Law in These Parts on DVD in the aspect ratio of 1.78:1 on this single-layer disc. The image has been enhanced for widescreen televisions.

A mix of digital and archival footage (made up from film and video materials) the film is admittedly not the most visually exciting film Iíve seen. Most of the filmís interview subjects are filmed in front of a green screen from two angles while archival footage occasionally plays behind them. The interviews are shot on digital and look perfectly fine. Past the opening, which was obviously recorded on a weak standard-definition camera, even upscaled it could almost (almost) pass as a high definition presentation; compression isnít an issue and the image is surprisingly crisp.

Archival material looks about as good as one could expect, and a lot of it is laced with damage thanks to Father Time, and footage from video looks worse than most VHS presentations Iíve seen, but this is all generally expected. The transfer at least does as fine as it can with the material.

Again, this isnít the most visually inventive film but the transfer still manages to come out looking rather good.

8/10

All DVD screen captures are presented in their original size from the source disc. Images have been compressed slightly to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

We get a simple Dolby Digital 2.0 Hebrew/English track that delivers clear and articulate dialogue, without any distortion or noise. Music fills out the fronts and has excellent balance and range, but doesnít strive for much more than just simply delivering the interviews. It wonít test your system in any way but the sound quality is excellent.

7/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Disappointingly, considering the subject matter of the film, all we get is a theatrical trailer. We donít even get an insert, which is usually typical for a Cinema Guild release.

1/10

CLOSING

Based on subject matter it's an intriguing documentary (visually itís a bit frustrating,) Cinema Guild gives it a strong audio and video presentation.




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