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 thirteen-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.
DIRECTED BY RACHEL LEAH JONES & PHILIPPE BELLAÏCHE
ISRAEL, CANADA, SWITZERLAND | 2019 | HEBREW, ARABIC, ENGLISH WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES