First, briefly, what it's about: It follows a Palestinian woman who insisted that women should be allowed to serve as judge on the Shari'a Court, the family court which deals with marriages, divorces, domestic disputes, etc. She went on to become one of the two first women to serve as judges on this court. And she goes on to mentor other women who serve in other legal roles.
One of the most amazing things about this documentary was the peek it provides into life in Palestine. We honestly rarely ever get to see how life proceeds there and to see people living their normal lives, and women challenging the patriarchal status quo amidst all the craziness happening in that region was eye-opening.
Second, Judge Kholoud Al-Faqih was a tour-de-force of inspiration. Wow, that woman has guts and conviction and courage and strength to soldier on despite all the obstacles. Her job is to uphold the Shari'a, and although many of us in the audience may not agree with the Shari'a, we see her trying to apply the law in the way that would be most helpful to the people. (As a side note, this would be enlightening for those people who think of "The Sharia Law" as a scary barbaric concept - this documentary gives a good depiction of what it actually covers. It has its questionable parts; it has its severely outdated parts, but much of it makes sense at least for the time when it was written. Why it's not up for amendment, well, that is an issue our protagonist and her fellow women in law struggle with.)
The last observation I will include is about the men. They are all over the board. There are some who are incredibly supportive, like Judge Kholoud's husband. There are some who genuinely want to see progressive change, like the Justice who appointed the women in the first place, but subsequently lost his job. There are the many male defendants at court against whom their wives bring cases (but of course given the nature of Judge Kholoud's work, she would be exposed to men like that). But then there are those men who make you angry, like the Islamic scholar who is staunchly against women serving in any legal capacity. What's worse is how strong and genuine his convictions are. He's not a slimy politician trying to demonize a group to win political favor. His opinions about women are completely genuine and that's what's so disturbing. The supportive men aren't necessarily paragons either. The former Justice for example, talked about his 4 wives in his interview and how he's grateful for that rule...it sounded like because he couldn't have found it in himself to be monogamous. Despite their shortcomings, at least there are people trying to bring about positive change.
But as with many issues, change is a slow process, and things often go backwards. There has only been one new female judge since Judge Kholoud and her colleague first started. But they all hold out hope that it will get better. But the patriarchy isn't the only battle they will be fighting. The uncertain status of their nation, the obstacles to natural economic development, etc. will surely be challenges the Palestinian women will have to contend with.