Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival
The Law (La Loi)
dir. Christian Faure, France, 2014, 87 min., French w/ English subtitles
Based on a true story, this racy and riveting courtroom drama will have audiences on the edge of their seats through its closing credits.
In the fall of 1974, Simone Veil, the French health minister under President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, was charged with the thankless job of pushing for the passage of a law legalizing abortion in France. As portrayed by Emmanuelle Devos in a career-defining role, this taut political thriller follows Veil as she fights for The Law on behalf of all French women during a harrowing three-day parliamentary debate. Against the objections of the opposition party, the Catholic Church, and even amongst some in her own party, Veil, a survivor of both Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen, refuses to back down. As the stakes are raised and Veil is forced to confront increasingly vile personal attacks, she intensifies her efforts to upend society’s dangerous misconceptions about abortion and a woman’s right to choose.