TIFF 2017: Our Review of ‘The Judge’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF 2017 by - September 15, 2017
TIFF 2017: Our Review of ‘The Judge’

There are many fascinating things about Erika Cohn’s The Judge. First, it shows that religion isn’t the only factor that shapes justice system in Palestine. Many states have declared the strip of land their territory. Which means that those states, six of them at least, influence how Palestinians live today. The judges living there, thus, must learn laws from four of those states. All of that as well as Shari’a law.

This is true for film’s subject, Judge Khouloud al-Faqih, the first female judge in Palestine. What’s more is that she has defendants mansplaining those laws to her as if she didn’t know these laws. At least she shuts all of those men down. Which is, expectedly, a glorious thing to watch in this film.

Of course, there are some flaws in this film. In explaining historical context we get to see one establishing shot after another. The same ones that the film opened with half an hour beforehand. I also don’t want to be that guy to piggyback one social justice issue on top of a film. But there are a few choice words that it uses when discussing mental illness. As if it’s a shield that men use instead of a real thing that plagues both genders. Nonetheless, the film shows a spotlight on women. They’re realizing that they’re getting the short end of the stick in Palestine. And that al-Faqih and her protegees and some allies are rebelling with a vengeance that we should all recognize.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you’re working.