Israeli filmmaker to speak on law, occupation Monday

Viewing of 'The Law in These Parts' and Q & A begins at 7 pm

Ra’anan Alexandrowicz 

Can a modern democracy impose a prolonged military occupation on another people while retaining its core democratic values? Researcher, writer and film director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz explores this question and more, in his latest film “The Law in These Parts.”

Named best documentary at the 2011 Jerusalem Film Festival and awarded the World Cinema Jury Prize in the documentary category at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Alexandrowicz's film raises provocative and timely questions about the fate of democracy and the rule of law under conditions of Israel’s long-term military occupation and rule of territories it captured in the 1967 Middle East war. Alexandrowicz will be on campus Monday at 7 p.m. at the Edie and Lew Wasserman Cinematheque, Sachar International Center, to show the film and participate in a question and answer session.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Film, Television and Interactive Media Program, the Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund, and the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies. It is being presented in collaboration with the Boston Jewish Film Festival, which runs through Nov. 19.

The film examines the legal system that was put into place in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip after the 1967 war. Through testimonies of the system’s founders, the film works to ask questions that Alexandrowicz says are often skirted or avoided, like: Can such an occupation be achieved within a legal framework that includes genuine adherence to the principles of rule of law? Should it? What are the costs that a society engaged in such a long-term exercise must bear? And what are the implications of the very effort to make a documentary film about such a system?

Getting Alexandrowicz to campus has been in the works for months. Alice Kelikian, associate professor of history and chair of Film, Television and Interactive Media, first heard of the film last year from friends at the Jerusalem Film Festival. She’s been in touch with Alexandrowicz ever since.

“I found the documentary provocative and compelling, and Ra'anan and I have been plotting since last June about hosting a special preview at the Wasserman Cinematheque at Brandeis,” says Kelikian. “He represents a new generation of very creative Israeli non-fiction and fiction film makers.”

The Edie and Lew Wasserman Cinematheque is a 242-seat theater with a fixed commercial-grade 13 foot by 25 foot screen, a 2K D-cinema projector, and Dolby digital 5.1 surround sound, explains Kelikian. “This state-of-the-art facility is the only academic exhibition site in the northeast with the ability to screen encrypted digital film files that studios and distributors now prefer to avoid piracy.

Monday’s event will be the first public D-Cinema screening of the film.

The movie opens theatrically next Wednesday at the Film Forum in New York City.


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