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Film screening

Film Screening | The Judge

Thursday 31 May 2018
Free to visit, please register via lucis@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

The Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS) proudly presents a film screening of The Judge on May 31st.  This vérité film documentary, co-produced by Erika Cohn (In Football We Trust), depicts the story of Kholoud Al-Fiqah and her position as judge in a Palestinian Shari’a court in the West Bank. The screening will be preceded by a short introduction by Dr. Nadia Sonneveld. After the film screening, Dr. Sonneveld will provide a commentary on the film and open the floor for discussion.

About 'The Judge'

Offering a compelling narrative, the documentary frames Kholoud’s appointment and first years as a judge, and her ability to remain in her position despite resistance and attempts to have her removed. Being the first woman judge in a Shari’a court in the Middle East, Kholoud asserts the right to equality and redefines how Shari’a law, a system largely mischaracterized in the West and Middle East, treats and respects women. Moreover, the film goes beyond Kholoud’s story and examines topics such as religious and legal agreements between men and women, the legacy of colonialism on the legal and cultural worlds of the Islamic world and the women’s struggle to assert control over their own bodies, rights and status.

About the director

Erika Cohn is an Emmy award winning director and producer who is recognized as a top documentary filmmaker. Her film The Judge premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Cohn has stated that she herself is drawn to producing works about the intersection and tension between religion, culture and identity, as well as narratives about strong women.

About Nadia Sonneveld

Dr Nadia Sonneveld works at the department of Islam Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, the Netherlands and has an academic background in anthropology, Arabic, and law. The common factor in all her research activities is the focus on gender and law in the Muslim world, particularly in Egypt and Morocco. Previously, she was a guest scholar at the School of Oriental Studies (SOAS) in London, and Al-Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. She authored Khul‘ Divorce in Egypt: Public Debates, Judicial Practices, and Everyday Life (2012), and has co-authored Women Judges in the Muslim World: A Comparative Study of Discourse and Practice, with Monika Lindbekk (2017), and Women and Social Change in North Africa: What Counts as Revolutionary? with Doris Gray (2018).


Everyone is welcome to join the film screening. Please register for the film screening via lucis@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

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