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When twelve cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad were published by Denmark's largest newspaper in 2005, European muslim groups denounced the cartoons as insulting and sacrilegious. To everyone's surprise, the protests against the Muhammad drawings took a worldwide scale, even leading to violent demonstrations in several Muslim countries. In France, the satirical news magazine Charlie Hebdo joined the conversation and reprinted the controversial cartoons, causing an uproar among the country's growing Muslim population. Months later, the Great Mosque of Paris, the World Muslim League and the Union of Islamic Organizations of France took Charlie Hebdo's editor Philippe Val to court for defamation and incitement of hatred. Tough Being Loved by Jerks offers a real-time account of the ensuing trial, arguably one most divisive and heated legal proceedings in recent French history. The film features lawyers, witnesses, journalists, editorial conferences, demonstrations of support, as well ...
excellent documentary on a trial about freedom of expression
Daniel Leconte's documentary traces the trial in February 2007 against the French satirical journal 'Charlie Hebdo' which has reprinted and commented against the Danish caricatures found offensive by the Muslim community. The trial turned into a very mediatized event, with many of the famous French politicians and intellectuals coming into the defense of the fundamental right of expression, including the right to satirize religion. Arguments are made very clear by the lawyers team on one and the other side of the dispute, but as in the real trial it is the number and the quality of the witnesses that came at the defense of the freedom of expression of the journalists that prevailed. The argument can be made that by following the newspapers team and interviewing more witnesses on their side the film authors have taken a rather biased view, but their intention was clear from the beginning, and they did allow the other side to make their arguments also in a clear and unequivocal manner. It is an interesting document, detailed and clear, authentic and true to the way the process happened. Worth seeing.
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