Advocate

Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaïche
| Israel, Canada, Switzerland
| 2019
| 110 min

For nearly five decades, Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel has defended Palestinians against all sorts of criminal charges. From suicide bombers to the children of the latest uprisings, she considers her clients to be political prisoners, and pushes the praxis of a human rights defender to its limits. In Advocate, we join her at work. Directors Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaïche masterfully juxtapose two of Tsemel’s cases, one professional and the other personal: the defense of a minor accused of attempted murder, and a past case in which she defended her activist husband from an accusation of treason against the state. The result is an original, provocative film that offers a compelling portrait of an outspoken woman and a fascinating insight into the inner workings of a biased justice system.

Director
Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaïche
Producer
Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaïche, Joelle Bertossa, Paul Cadieux
Premiere
Sydney Premiere
Section
International Competition
Antenna Award Winner
Best International Documentary
Festival Year
2019