ICC Prosecutor: On Film

ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo visits an unidentified post-conflict area in Africa

Canadian Director Barry Stevens has come out with a film, Prosecutor, which examines the work of the ICC’s Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo, a figure who has brought much spotlight – and a significant dose of controversy – to the Court. It bills itself as follows:

A fascinating story with extraordinary inside access,Prosecutor follows the Chief Prosecutor through the first trials of the newly formed International Criminal Court. Luis Moreno-Ocampo investigates and prosecutes some of the world’s worst criminals for some of the world’s worst crimes. He’s a hero to genocide survivors, but has bitter enemies on both the Right and the Left. Prosecutor offers front-row seats to the historic events that will determine whether the ICC is a groundbreaking new weapon for global justice or just an idealistic dream.

The film will be airing around the world in the coming weeks. Here’s a trailer of the movie, showing a visit by Moreno-Ocampo to the Democratic Republic of Congo:

For those who have invested time and energy into studying the Court, there is only so much one can learn from a 90 minute film on the subject matter, as evidenced by an earlier movie on the ICC, The Reckoning, which only examined the Court from a very narrow perspective. Nevertheless, these films always give an important insight into the machinations of the Court. Prosecutor should be particularly interesting in that, rather than exploring the ICC itself, it tackles the personality politics of the Court by following ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo.

I haven’t seen the film yet, but to be honest, this brief trailer doesn’t shine the best of light on the Prosecutor or the Court. It looks like video evidence of precisely what some of the Court’s sharpest critics contend: that the ICC intervenes in situations with men in suits and with briefcases, “dropping in” on weak, African states, confusing people who have little or no tradition of retributive, legal justice, and then leaves as if everything were all well and good. Even worse for the optics of the Court and Moreno-Ocampo, the facial expressions of those to whom he is speaking alternate between confusion, boredom and disinterest.

I am curious as to why the makers of the film chose this particular section as a trailer.

When I have a chance to see the film in its entirety, I will post a review.

For those who happen to be in Ontario, Canada, the film will be showing May 12 and 15 on TVO. You can also buy the movie, but for a moronically high price: $398. You would think they don’t want anyone to see it: now there’s a deterrent effect!

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About Mark Kersten

Mark is a PhD student in International Relations at the London School of Economics. His work focuses on the nexus of international criminal justice and conflict resolution. Specifically, he is examining the effects of the ICC on peace processes and negotiations in northern Uganda and Libya.
This entry was posted in Democratic Republic of Congo, Deterrence, Film, International Criminal Court (ICC), Justice. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to ICC Prosecutor: On Film

  1. Mark says:

    This film was on the BBC last night; if you are in the UK you can catch it on for the next week or so: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b011m9xy/Storyville_20102011_Prosecutor/

  2. Mark Kersten says:

    Thanks Mark – I will definitely check it out!

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