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Solid documentary about women in Cameroon's legal system
Interesting documentary on women in the legal system in Cameroon – prosecutors and judges – and how they're slowly making progress dealing with the overwhelmingly male- centric society and laws.
It's impossible not to be touched watching them deal with cases of child rape, spousal abuse, child neglect, etc. And they do so with wisdom, dignity, and sometimes humor.
We also see their more human sides, in moments dealing with the children who come to them in trouble, as well as with their own children.
My problems were that there was a feeling that everyone knew they were on stage. The presence of camera feels like it's palpably changing behavior on all sides. Also, it feels – true or not – like we're not getting the whole story on some of these cases. It feels like there is tremendous selectivity going on to present these women as almost infallible heroes.
I also can't help being disturbed by Cameroon's justice system, which leaves the finding of guilt or innocence totally up to the judge, and based on what we see here, often there is scant evidence on either side, just a 'he said, she said'.
That may be the best a country like Cameroon can do. The money for things like real forensics is a million miles away. But it still makes the film's unabashed, unquestioning admiration of these clearly terrific women feel a bit glossy.
Non-the-less, I still quite enjoyed it, felt excited by the change these women represent, and was glad to be let into a world I'd otherwise know nothing about.
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