Since the early 1970s, attorney Lea Tsemel has made a career out of defending Palestinians in Israeli courts: feminists and fundamentalists, non-violent demonstrators and armed militants. As far as most Israelis are concerned, she defends the indefensible. As far as Palestinians are concerned, she’s more than an attorney, she’s an advocate. Advocate follows Tsemel’s caseload in real-time, including the high-profile trial of a 13-year-old boy — her youngest client to date — while also revisiting her landmark cases and reflecting on the political and professional significance of her work, as well as the personal price one pays for assuming the role of “devil’s advocate.” As a Jewish-Israeli woman who has represented political prisoners for nearly 50 years, Tsemel pushes the definition of a human rights defender to its limits.
Dates: Thursday, August 27 – Thursday, September 3
Time: All hours
Access to the film: Fest Pass or Ticket
Viewing Limited: US residents only
Director: Philippe Bellaiche, Rachel Leah Jones
Writer: Rachel Leah Jones
Producer: Philippe Bellaiche, Rachel Leah Jones, Joelle Bertosa, Paul Cadieux, Flavia Zanon
Genre: Documentary Feature
Length: 107 min
Location: Canada, Israel, Switzerland
Language: English, Arabic [w/English subtitles], Hebrew [w/English subtitles]
SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS: This screening is presented by the Vermont International Film Festival.