Motley’s Law review – level-headed US lawyer takes on Afghan courts

Shot over some time starting in 2013, this sturdy, impeccably assembled but emotionally cool film focuses on Kimberley Motley, a former US beauty queen from a tough working-class and mixed-race background who for a time was the only foreigner allowed to practice law in the courts of . Unabashedly admitting that she came to the war-ravaged country for the money and that she barely knew where it was before she arrived, Motley navigates Afghan justice’s turbulent mix of secular and Sharia law as well as its byzantine bureaucracy, to represent clients, both foreign and local, accused of all sorts of crimes, from adultery to drug-smuggling. Who knows exactly why the film’s UK distributor chose this particular week to release it, but there’s a serendipitous resonance to be found in the way Kimberley, chatting with her Afghan translator Khalil, jokingly compares herself to Wonder Woman and him to Spider-Man, forming a two-person Justice League. Indeed, there’s something truly superheroic about Motley’s level-headed commitment to the law, even when it’s clear it’s being bent out of all proportion everywhere she looks. Without making any kind of big deal out of it, director Nicole N Horanyi underscores the irony that while Kimberley is in Kabul, her husband Claudaire gets shot back in Wisconsin, while on his way to a high-school reunion.

‘She navigates Afghan justice’s turbulent mix of secular and Sharia law’ … Motley’s Law
Source : theguardian[dot]com
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