Are you a late night fan of Law and Order -- trying to unravel the complexities of society through understanding its criminal element?
This year's Israeli TV documentary series, Defense Files, is better than drama and better than reality TV -- it provides a fascinating and realistic glimpse into the world of the criminal justice system and a look at the challenges facing Israeli society today. It also helps the viewer to understand the world of the public defender's office -- where the uniquely motivated lawyers are trying to help people who come from diverse backgrounds, some of whom have been wrongfully accused and others have made serious mistakes.
Six Episodes - Money, Women, Youth, Death, Rehab, Family
Youth -- The public defenders are working to help young people turn their lives around. These are young people from difficult backgrounds. Galina is a teenage girl, quick to anger, incriminated in a stabbing. The public defender is impressive in his attempts to understand what's behind her anger. Maor is a young man, already imprisoned, who talks about the temptations of crime and the risks of returning to crime when he is released. David is part of a gang of soccer fans which beats up Arabs. He already has seven indictments for attacking Arabs. He explains how becoming religious and studying Talmud has calmed him down.
Death -- Valentin lost control of his car and kills a pedestrian and seriously injures a second person. Mama is an African immigrant, accused of negligence in the case of the death of a baby in a toddler nursery. David, a tractor driver, is charged with negligent homicide in an accident in which a Romanian construction worker was killed.
Each episode explores three difficult cases, including the lawyer's meetings with the client and family, meetings with the judge, exploring different options for defense, the verdict and sometimes the appeal. Produced in a minimalist yet realistic style, this series, directed by Moish Goldberg, is comprised of six documentary episodes, 35 minutes each.
Defense Files is available from Go2Films.