Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel is a force of nature. Confident and resilient, she is a magnet for the toughest cases imaginable: defending Palestinians accused of committing crimes. Tsemel is steadfast in her pursuit of justice with the firm belief that the courts must show compassion. As a volunteer during the Six-Day War, she observed West Bank Palestinians retreating in exile and realized that there were people there. A lightning rod for controversy, her political enemies call her a traitor while she believes her work is about the future. Tsemel's two adult children reveal her unique ability to see the humanity of those accused and reflect on how they endured the ensuing criticism. Expertly crafted by the filmmaking team Rachel Leah Jones and Phillipe Bella•che (Gypsy Davy, SFJFF 2012), they weave a provocative portrait of the human fallout from the conflict. While the identities of the defendants are concealed by delicately animated sequences, they follow the shocking case of a minor charged with attempted murder and his flabbergasted parents who come to Tsemel for help. When a traditional Muslim woman survives her attempt at suicide, she faces imprisonment after being charged as a terrorist. For five decades Tsemel remains true to her mission to pick apart truth from propaganda, regardless of the consequences. - Janis Plotkin

Directors Rachel Leah Jones and Phillipe Bellaiche in person

Best Israeli film, Docaviv 2019
Golden Alexander and FIPRESCI at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Jury Award at Hong Kong International Film Festival
Golden Horn at Krakow Film Festival

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