The extraordinary, Brussels-based judge Anne Gruwez takes us behind the scenes of real life criminal investigations. Dealing with the seedy, corrupt and violent underbelly of the city, she is a force to be reckoned with. Day in, day out, a new case comes, but she’s seen it all.
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A riveting film, pulled me right in and held my attention throughout! I had no awareness that documentary films could hold such palpable complex human emotional content. The persona of the judge and her interactions with others carries it.
Either all crime in Brussels is migrant-related, or this movie is highly racist. Still interesting to see the legal system stripped bare to its bureaucratic self. Hats off for the judge; my role model.
Intriguing for a while, finally dissatisfying. Access is safe, not intimate. She's *very* aware of the camera, so it's performative, variations of a kind. An extended, feature-length setup that hooks w/the question "Who is she?" & hints that the way past this surface is her passion, the cold case. Some key to her, some pain, drives that. But film doesn't build on this setup, doesn't deepen into a story of the heart.
The brutal and banal day-to-day of a Belgian judge dealing with violent cases. The character is a very ambigous one, at times treating some of her clients very badly, other times being unexpectedly empathic towards others. By the time the movie ended, I was wishing to watch more of Anne's life and work.
Here's something I haven't seen before: documentary as comedy. It's extraordinary and unbelievable that a woman like the judge at the center of the film exists. But she does, giving Judge Judy a run for her money in brutal honesty and gallows humour. That's necessary when dealing with a world as sick as this one. Just in case it was getting too light, the film's devastating climax brings it all into context. Genius.
An omnipotent judge full of (black) humour entertains his audience beyond the camera at the expense of her "clients" - offenders apparently all of foreign origin .. I wonder if they were made aware of the exposure of very private aspects in their court cases. Politically incorrect as reality is.
It was rather interesting to watch but it left me with questions: what happened in the end to the cold case? Is this representative of the Belgium's judicial system in the sense that most of the offenders were of Arabic descent? Why are they showcasing armed police officers on the streets? Yes, there were terrorist attacks but what does it contribute to the film? Should there be a display of intimate case details?