Advocate

Screenings

2019 Season
New York

 

Jewish-Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel and her Palestinian colleagues have been working for decades representing their clients in an increasingly conservative Israel. We meet Lea and the team as they prepare for their youngest defendant yet – Ahmad, a 13-year-old boy implicated in a knife attack on the streets of Jerusalem. Together they must counter legal and public opposition and prepare Ahmad who, like other Palestinians charged with serious crimes, will face a difficult trial in a country in which the government, court system and the media are stacked against him. To many, Lea is a traitor who defends the indefensible. For others, she's more than an attorney – she’s a true ally. 

 

I’m an Israeli occupier, no matter what I do. I enjoy the fruits of occupation, both bitter and sweet... Who gave me the moral right to judge the people who resist my occupation?... So in that sense if the act is intended to resist the occupation, as such, I’ll take [the case] on.  - Lea Tsemel, film subject, Advocate 

Courtesy of Cinephil. 

 

Official selection, Sundance Film Festival 2019 

 

 

Filmmaker(s): 
Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche
Country of Production: 
Israel Canada and Switzerland
Year: 
2019
108m
Language(s): 
Arabic, Hebrew, fully subtitled in English
Genre: 
Documentary
Filmmaker Bio(s): 
Rachel Leah Jones
Director / Producer

Born in Berkeley, California in 1970 and raised between Berkeley and Tel Aviv, Jones is a critically acclaimed documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on Israel/Palestine. She has a BA in Race, Class and Gender Studies and a MFA in Documentary Media Arts. Her directing credits include: 500DUNAM ON THE MOON (2002) commissioned by France Channel 2; ASHKENAZ (2007) commissioned by Israel Channel 8; TARGETED CITIZEN (2010) commissioned by Adalah: the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel; and GYPSY DAVY (2012) commissioned by Israel Channel 8 (Sundance 2012). In addition to making her own films, Jones has produced extensively with others, e.g. WALL by Simone Bitton (Cannes 2004; Special Jury Prize Sundance 2005) and has been affiliated with progressive media outlets such as DEMOCRACY NOW! in New York.

Philippe Bellaiche
Director / Producer

Born in Paris, France in 1967, Bellaiche is an award-winning DP whose credits include BETWEEN FENCES (Berlin 2016); ONCE I ENTERED A GARDEN (Rome 2012); Z32 (Venice 2008); and AVENGE BUT ONE OF MY TWO EYES (Cannes 2005) by Avi Mograbi; THE SETTLERS (Sundance 2016) and HOTHOUSE (Special Jury Prize Sundance 2007) by Shimon Dotan; GYPSY DAVY (Sundance 2012) by Rachel Leah Jones; THE FLAT (Tribeca 2012; Israel Academy Award 2011) by Arnon Goldfinger; INCESSANT VISIONS (Jerusalem 2011), THE JOURNEY OF VAN NGUYEN (IDFA 2005) and RAGING DOVE (First Prize Doc Aviv 2002; Certificate of Merit SFIFF 2002) by Duki Dror; ROUTE 181:FRAGMENTS OF A JOURNEY THROUGH PALESTINE/ISRAEL (Second Prize Yamagata 2005) by Eyal Sivan and Michel Khleifi; FROM LANGUAGE TO LANGUAGE (First Prize Doc Aviv 2004) by Nurith Aviv; FORGET BAGHDAD(FIPRESCI Award Locarno 2002) by Samir Jamal al-Din. A cinematography lecturer and master class teacher, Bellaiche also received the Cinema Arts Award in 2013.

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