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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Legal > Foreign > France > 10th District Court (Documentary)

10th District Court (Documentary)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Documentary: B-



A long time ago, having the camera in the courtroom in real life was considered more of a private, privileged space.  For the worse, mass media, cable TV and “reality TV” shows have made a mockery of the idea of a court and justice.  Outside of shows like The People’s Court where the participants agree to be on camera, the O.J. Simpson case and similar no-budget soap operas have made the court a joke to some extent.  Director Raymond Depardon tries to do something different by shooting footage of a more rarely seen French court in 10th District Court.


At first, it is something different and makes for an interesting comparison to overexposed U.S. courts and even also-different British courts.  Unfortunately, after you finish your comparisons, it also becomes more of the same and a run on.  The only think good here is that Depardon is trying to show the persons as human, but that does not totally free it of a sort of exploitive sense of its U.S. counterparts.  However, it is a more obscure document of its kind at this time and will hopefully stay that way.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.66 X 1 image has detail limits and color limits, but looks fine for non-stop shooting in a courtroom.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 is situational, simple stereo at best with little enhancement.  Extras include the original trailer, audience debate after a theatrical screening of the film, deleted scenes that are more of the same and talk on the shot with the director.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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