Title   Cast   Director   Year Shown  Other Info    Country  Notes 

10e chambre: instants d’audiences

France, 2004, 102 min

Shown in 2005


Raymond Depardon
Claudine Nougaret
Raymond Depardon
Simon Jacquet


Koch Lorber Films, 22 Harbor Park Dr, Pt. Washington, NY 11050. EMAIL: suzanne.fedak@kochent.com.
10th District Court: Moments of Trials

Raymond Depardon returns to the territory of Caught in the Act (SFIFF 1995), in which he observed petty criminals “explaining” their crimes to prosecutors. In the new film, 12 men and women have their day in a Paris court of appeals for crimes ranging from brandishing a weapon to selling pot in Les Halles. In front of the politely acerbic magistrate they engage in the convoluted process of self defense, being remarkably inventive and, less frequently, insightful. Almost as fascinating as the stars of this comédie humaine are their laconic attorneys who suddenly spring into action, often to seal their clients’ fate (“Strange as it seems, this is a case about love,” asserts the defender of an abusive husband), and the ambitious prosecutors whose vitriol bespeaks a crime far more heinous and clever than being rude to a meter maid. Filming by special permission, Depardon offers the first look at the workings of a French court, where the camera is never allowed. About the many people he filmed, Depardon said, “They were courageous enough to let themselves be examples, to show their humiliation.” Thanks to his patient camera we can ponder what it is to judge, and what it is to err. For better or worse, he reveals that the law is human.

—Judy Bloch

<< Prev