Film

# Palestine /​/​/ Law as a Colonial Weapon: Review of ‘The Law in these Parts’ by Ra’anan Alexandrowicz

the-law-in-these-parts

I recently watched Israeli director Ra’anan Alexandrowicz’s fim, The Law in These Parts, which unfolds the legal mechanisms of the occupation of the Palestinian territories (West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem) since their take over by the Israeli Defense Forces in 1967. Alexandrowicz alternates archival footage and interviews with six members of the Israeli military legal corps who…

Thick Skin, a lawful film written and directed by Peter Rush

Thick Skin

This film explores an aesthetics of law and its inhabitants through the public art sites of The Another View Walking Trail that was installed in the 1990s in the City of Melbourne. In a slow-​moving filmic recitation, each of the sites focus our attention on the place-​making and counter-​memory of law and governance. What then would it take for the eye of law, beyond pretence and all forgetting, to recognise pain? What would it mean to investigate the manners in and by which proximate and suffering others have dwelt and do dwell in law? Available to watch for the first time in uploaded digital form here on Critical Legal Thinking…

Lincoln Unchained: Is Obama the Global Uncle Tom?

Samuel Jackon as Stephen in Django Unchained

Beware. This article contains spoilers. Let’s start with a self-​evident affirmation. Movies, or more precisely Hollywood, is the ultimate contraption of hegemonic ideological diffusion. The prophetic dystopias in which secret police would place the mechanisms of control inside the private realm of people, fall way short of the intrusive violence of today’s reality. Now we pay…

Compliance: The Uncomfortable Reality of Docile Bodies

Claude-Nicolas Ledoux (1736–1806), Coup d’oeil du Théâtre de Besançon, 1804

The movie ‘Compliance’ is disturbing on many different levels, and left me with a feeling of extreme discomfort, and even disorientation, long after the credits rolled, no less because it is based on true events, referred to by the American media as the “strip search prank call scam’. As the story unfolds in the movie in the same sequence as it did in reality, Sandra, the manager of an Ohio “Chickwich” fast-​food outlet, receives a call from a man falsely claiming to be a police detective. Referring to himself as “Officer Daniels” or “Sir”, he accuses a young female cashier, Becky, of stealing money from a customer. He then enlists Sandra’s assistance in physically detaining Becky in the store room of the outlet and strip-​searching her. Sandra and two other employees are caught up in events that become increasingly unsettling, escalate throughout, and ultimately culminate in the degrading sexual abuse and humiliation of Becky by Sandra’s boyfriend, Van.

Pasolini’s Salò: Torture is Political

Salo

Pasolini’s controversial final film Salò (1975), based on Marquis de Sade’s The 120 Days of Sodom (1785), poses significant questions regarding the intersection between sadistic torture and sovereignty. The film is divided into four segments, heavily inspired by Dante’s Inferno: Ante-​Inferno, Circle of Manias, Circle of Shit, and Circle of Blood. Salò focuses on four corrupt…

Riots and Ineloquence

"You're tearing me apart": from Rebel Without a Cause

In Nicholas Ray’s 1955 Rebel without a cause1 we follow the protagonist Jim Stark (James Dean) into delinquency. In this film, Nicholas Ray and the scriptwriter, Stewart Stern, set out to portray the life of the contemporary American teenager. The story is organized around Jim, recently arrived with his parents in a Los Angeles suburb in the…