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by Kacper Lisowski


In Poland, judicial independence has been under serious pressure since the right-wing Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power. Judges whose rulings are not to the government’s liking are at risk of being fired or arrested. The new government portrays judges as elitist and incompetent at best, and at worst as dissidents. The judges refuse to sit by and let this happen, and are trying to turn the political tide through demonstrations, as well as workshops and presentations at large music festivals. 2020 saw the biggest protest in Polish history, with countless concerned Polish citizens and fellow lawmakers from across Europe expressing their solidarity and calling attention to the flagrant constitutional violations. The film follows Judge Igor Tuleya, the face of the protest movement, as he works both inside and outside the courtroom. His black humor brings an occasional note of lightness to this urgent and shocking topic, without detracting from the seriousness of the constitutional horror scenario unfolding in this EU member state.

international title: Judges Under Pressure
original title: Sędziowie pod presją
country: Poland
year: 2021
genre: documentary
directed by: Kacper Lisowski
film run: 87'
screenplay: Kacper Lisowski, Iwona Harris
cinematography by: Kacper Lisowski
film editing: Bartosz Pietras, Marcin Sołtysik
music: Barekprzestań, Szumkot, Maria Peszek
producer: Iwona Harris
production: Lollipop Films

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