The truth is nothing but a group of pixels, the result of a digital zoom on blurred faces. The camera filming the members of a people's jury present at a murder trial is as lost as they are in a labyrinth of evidence, images, and witnesses, incapable of filming anything but its own disintegration.
EL JURADO / THE JURY by Jean Pierre Rehm
A high angle extreme close-up shot of a woman’s face. So deeply focused she is biting her nails while listening. What is she listening to? Some voices being exchanged through microphones, pointing out a homicide case. As the title indicates, this is a trial, in which the woman is a juror. We are watching someone listening to something, without seeing what she can see (magistrates, policemen, experts, etc.) although hearing everything the same way she does. We can hear the words while watching the effect they produce on someone else: we are both listening and surveying the listening process. She is our mirror image. The situation is even more critical as she is not a passive spectator. Her duty? To discern the significant facts and return a veredict. As we scrutinise her (a juror suddenly becoming the one being tried) a highly selective attention can be observed: a strain towards truth and justice. Finally, being bereft of what she can see, we will inevitably make it up: a mental film as a rival to the ongoing picture. The labyrinthine effect of the information we can hear is therefore increassed: What image could match such and such word? What does this uncouth solicitor look like? What about the deep-voiced judge? Is the defendant in? Technical problems, mentioned during the hearing and failing to produce certains images and sounds, comically echo our own struggle to picture the scenes. A trial as an opportunity to obstruct the truth from being brought out: this is cinema teaching us a lesson.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.