Israel, Canada, Switzerland | 2019 | documentary | 110 min. Documentary competition

For fifty years, Lea Tsemel has been defending cases considered lost well in advance. This Israeli human rights activist became famous as defence counsel for Palestinians, including those charged with terrorism. An ally for some, she immediately turned into a deadly enemy for others. Diverse archival materials and contemporary footage show a fascinating portrait of an unbreakable woman. In their personal confessions, her husband and children reveal what it means to live with someone who is ready to take the greatest risk in the name of justice.

directed by

Rachel Leah Jones

Documentary film director and film producer. She was born in California in 1970 and grew up between Berkeley and Tel Aviv. She obtained her BA in gender Studies and MFA in Documentary Media. Her films, shown at many festivals and by television (,,500 Dunam on the Moon" (2002), ,,Ashkenaz" (2007), ,,Targeted Citizen" (2010), ,,Gypsy Davy" (2012)) are politically involved and often focus on the Palestinian-Israeli problem. Along with working on her own films Rachel also cooperates with other artists, e.g. on the award-winning production ,,Wall" (2004, dir. Simone Bitton).

Philippe Bellaiche

Born in Paris, France in 1967, Bellaiche is an award-winning DoP whose credits include "Between Fences" (Berlin 2016), "Once I Entered a Garden" (Rome 2012), "Z32" (Venice 2008), and "Avenge but One of My Two Eyes" (Cannes 2005) by Avi Mograbi; "The Settlers" (Sundance 2016) and "Hothouse" (Special Jury Prize Sundance 2007) by Shimon Dotan; "Gypsy Davy" (Sundance 2012) by Rachel Leah Jones; "The Flat" (Tribeca 2012; Israel Academy Award 2011) by Arnon Goldfinger.

Philippe Bellaiche
Leah Tsemel Festival guest
Robert Marcel Lepage
Yael Bitton
Philippe Bellaiche, Rachel Leah Jones (Home Made Docs), Paul Cadieux, Shoshi Korman (FilmOption), Joelle Bertossa (Close Up Films)