Sunday, October 14, 2012

69. The Prosecutor (2010)

'The Prosecutor has to be a bit of a salesman, he has to sell the idea of global justice'

The Prosecutor (2010) is a documentary film focusing on the work of the first and former Prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo.  Barry Stevens (Emmy award winning documentary director of Gerrie and Louise (1997)) both wrote and directed the film produced by Peter Raymont.  As an educational tool, the film simply outlines some of the strengths and weaknesses of the Office of the Prosecutor (OTP). 
 Much is made of the Prosecutor's inability to enforce arrest warrants and focus is placed on the enormity of his task in the 'era of no impunity'. 

Spanning a period of at least 5 years, the film provides a snapshot of the different situations under investigation.  The Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African Republic and Sudan are all discussed in the behind the scenes film showcasing some of the OTP staff including: Fatou Bensouda (current Prosecutor),  Florence Olara and Nicola Fletcher (media liaison),  Beatrice Le Fraper (former head of the JCCD) and many others.  In addition, the film presents the main criticisms of the Court: the allegations of neo-colonialism for the unique focus on Africa and also concerning double standards over the alleged war crimes perpetrated by Israel in Palestine.

According to Stevens: "We made an actuality film, but also it's highly critical. This is not a commercial for Moreno-Ocampo or a simple-minded human-rights-in-Africa film. We give a lot of space to the Court's most articulate critics, like Mahmoud Mamdani. There are legitimate questions about spending hundreds of millions of dollars to prosecute a few criminals and maybe making peace less likely when you do it."

The film is certainly more balanced than the documentary 'The Reckoning' made by Skylight Pictures but overall asks what alternative there can be to the new global system proposed by the ICC and the Prosecutor.  The film forms part of the Economist series on film in conjunction with PBS.  

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