Just a few hours ago, director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz was inducted into Israel’s cinematic Hall of Fame. His film The Law In These Parts won the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize in Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. Earlier this year, Alexandrowicz picked up the award for best documentary at the Jerusalem Film Festival.
The film is a critical investigation of the IDF’s court system governing Palestinians. Through interviews with the judges that engineered and implemented the complicated web of military laws currently in place, Alexandrowicz asks many crucial questions about the occupation.
“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.”
Celebrating an equally exciting win at Sundance was director Emad Burnat for his film 5 Broken Cameras. The film was a joint Palestinian, Israeli and French production. “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.”