the courtroom tribeca review

Review: The Courtroom (Tribeca 2022)

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Taking you inside the courtroom for an incredible true story highlighting the flaws of U.S. laws around immigration, The Courtroom takes a simple approach to adapting the source stageplay and never loses focus thanks to the keen direction of Lee Sunday Evans.

Written by Succession’s Arian Moayed from the actual transcripts of the real life proceedings, the film follows Filipina immigrant Elizabeth Keathley (played by Kristin Villanueva), on trial for mistakenly registering to vote while on a K3 visa, subjecting her to possible deportation. Evans’ production takes a minimalistic approach with a simplistic set and only the words of the transcripts to guide the film. What results is an inside look at the legal corn maze facing immigrants, here Elizabeth with a husband and newborn baby, held accountable for harmless mistakes embodied in our laws as punishable by life-altering shunning from a country she calls home. There is a raw intensity about The Courtroom that will have audiences feeling as though they are sitting in the chair next to Elizabeth as the proceedings carry on. It’s an emotionally gripping adaptation that has power and consequence behind every word, never once letting up.

From stage to screen, The Courtroom may not be the most exciting cinematic experience you’ll have, but is certainly one of the most important.

Rating: 4/5

Seen at the 2022 Tribeca Festival

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