22
Jun 06

Courting Disaster

Do You SeePost a comment • 344 views

Some of the reviews of 10th District Court (a film which doesn’t even really have an English title) have noted the storytelling majesty of a film which is completely set in a courtroom. Courtroom dramas have all the key points of decent drama after all. And up to a point, 10th District displays this. Petty criminals, drink drivers, harassers, tell their stories to the twinkling harridan of a judge. They are cross examined, and sent off to await verdict. And then we get a verdict (maybe ten minutes later). A microcosm of drama then.

Well yes and no. There are some lovely little vignettes here: the unapologetic drunk driver, the illegal immigrant they cannot get rid of. But there is sadness here too: the harassment case. And there is, sad to say, tedium. Twelve of these short tales are too many, they repeat – often for effect – though often the effect is to undermine the whole thing. Our judge is initially sympathetic, and then you wonder if she too is not prejudiced, a bit close minded and almost dictatorial in her own pronouncements. And the stories, in the end, are not that interesting. The film does show a slice of life, and one which is quite sad to behold: a class system in conflict maybe. But if a court-room is all the drama some reviewers need, then there are plenty of courts out there. I want meaty stories too.

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