Documentary filmmaker Maria Ramos offers a fly-on-the-wall look at the Brazilian judicial system in an unflinching portrait of the three most crucial elements of the courtroom: the judge, the public attorney, and the accused. In Rio de Janeiro, the gap between the privileged and the not so privileged is staggering. Every day, floods of young men wash through the courtroom to battle accusations of thievery and violence, their very lives thrown at the mercy of a system so overwhelmed that it has nearly lost the ability to discern hard facts from corruption and lies. Instead of staging interviews with her subjects in typical documentary fashion, Ramos opts for a more observational style of filmmaking, following her subjects at work and at home to offer a telling portrait of life in the cramped courthouse, where the judges face a constant uphill battle, and in the ramshackle favelas, where life is cheap and futures are decidedly bleak. … More
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Critic Reviews for Justice
Already a master of the objective eye, Ramos uses her unobtrusive camera to uncover the frustrations inherent in a vastly imbalanced society where hope is scarce and the future is dim.
Justice often moves painfully slowly, and so does Justice (Justiša), a documentary by Maria Ramos about low-level criminal courts in Brazil that at times might be mistaken for an unedited video feed from a courthouse security camera.
With its unobtrusive visual style, Justice plays like a near-parody of documentary objectivity, subtly suggesting the malleable nature of 'truth,' both in the courtroom and the movie theater.
Despite its outsize ambitions, Evan Oppenheimer's independent feature is generally low-key and likable, thanks mainly to a talented cast.
Though director Oppenheimer has a nice comedic touch, an achronological structure and distracting vignettes thwart the film's emotional designs.
Cinema verite look at the criminal justice system in Brazil. Distinguished by its ability to examine class society without being heavy-handed.
The film brings to mind the good and bad of two other courtroom documentaries, 10th District Court and Sisters in Law.
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