Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Can a legal system provide justice?

Despite its title, director Hans-Christian Schmid hasn't ginned up Storm for visceral excitement. Instead, Schmid immerses us in a tangle of problems surrounding the prosecution of a Bosnian Serb general for crimes against humanity. Kerry Fox plays a prosecutor who has been asked to try the case in The Hague, and the movie takes a variety of twists that call the motivations of nearly everyone into question. Far from undermining the movie, Schmid's even-handed strategy turns Storm into a fascinating look at morally complex issues that resist easy answers. Although the movie makes clear the kind of atrocities that the general perpetrated -- most notably against Muslim women -- it also shows how justice can be compromised in the name of accepting so-called “adult” solutions. Anamaria Marinca, pictured above with Fox, portrays a woman who – at great personal risk – is asked to testify by those who risk little more than finding themselves on the losing side of a legal battle. Thought-provoking and intelligent, Storm presents a remarkably clear-eyed view of how legal systems work – or don't. The movie leaves us thinking that something's terribly wrong when justice can be bartered away.

(Storm opens in Denver Friday.)

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