In Your Hands, 101 mins, not yet rated.
Take My Eyes, 106 mins, not yet rated.
A Good Lawyer’s Wife, 104 mins, not yet rated.

(Selected films from the 51st Sydney Film Festival (11-26 June 2004))

Three fictional feature films also touch on legal issues.  First, from Denmark, In Your Hands, directed by “Dogme” disciple Annette K Olesen, is set in a women’s prison.  Anna is a priest, and her first job is as a prison chaplain.  In prison she comes up against issues that will shake her faith to its core.  And when she (miraculously) becomes pregnant she has to face the possibility of giving birth to a severely handicapped child, or the alternative of abortion.  In Your Hands is a thoughtful drama with some excellent performances.

Next, Take my Eyes, from Spain, is a powerful film that deals in a balanced and sympathetic way with domestic violence.  Set in stunning Toledo, and played out against a background of gorgeous architecture, and sublime paintings by El Greco and others, Take My Eyes was one of the best dramas of the festival.

Finally, from South Korea, A Good Lawyer’s Wife focuses on the life of a busy lawyer in Seoul, and his extended family.  The lawyer, his wife, and their friends are members of the affluent new group of Koreans known as the 386 generation – in their 30s, they entered college in the 1980s, and were born in the 1960s.  On the surface they are hard-working conformist members of the bourgeoisie, but underneath there is turmoil, as the lawyer uses his job to conceal an affair, and events spin wildly out of control. A Good Lawyer’s Wife is a fascinating social document.