1h 16m | Directed by Erica Cohn | USA | Drama
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- Toronto International Film Festival
- DOC NYC
- San Francisco International Film Festival
- International Documentary Filmfestival Amsterdam
- Full Frame Documentary Film Festival
When she was a young lawyer, Kholoud Al-Faqih walked into the office of Palestine’s Chief Justice and announced she wanted to join the bench. He laughed at her. But just a few years later, Kholoud became the first woman judge to be appointed to the Middle East’s Shari’a (Islamic law) courts. The Judge offers a unique portrait of Judge Kholoud—her brave journey as a lawyer, her tireless fight for justice for women, and her drop-in visits with clients, friends, and family. With unparalleled access to the courts, The Judge presents an unfolding vérité legal drama, with rare insight into both Islamic law and gendered justice. In the process, the film illuminates some of the universal conflicts in the domestic life of Palestine—custody of children, divorce, abuse—while offering an unvarnished look at life for women and Shari’a. (c) The Judge
A true verité courtroom drama….The judge’s story provides welcome insight into the contrasting interpretations of and inaccurate assumptions about Shari’a law and challenges tired notions of gender exclusion and segregation in the Middle East.
Thom Powers | TIFF | Full review
In an era doomed by volatility and political duplicity, The Judge’s importance is bound to soar. The film is inimitably educational, offering an eye-opening perspective on the depth of Sharia law while providing a refreshing outlook on Palestine’s people and culture. Most importantly, the film pays tribute to brave, intelligent and inspiring women like Faqih, whose relentless dedication and humanity will help to shape a more inclusive future. Seeing such women in the forefront of cinema brings a much needed sense of fulfillment and joy to this reviewer.
Anastasia Akulinina | POV Magazine | Full review