Review: Saint Judy

Directed by Sean Hanish, 2020, Cannonball Productions

Saint Judy is a film based  on real life events of lawyer, Judy Wood, who’s thrown in the deep end in her  first immigration law case. Her belief that the truth and doing what’s right can overcome almost  insurmountable obstacles to forever change asylum law in the United States of America, as well as the lives of those around her.

Judy represents an Afghani woman, Asefa Ashwari who’s betrayed by her Tribal Leader father,  persecuted by the Taliban for ‘Crimes against God.’ She faces the certainty of being murdered by her  own brothers in an honour killing if her fight for asylum in the United States is unsuccessful, because she encouraged girls to think for themselves and to get an education by opening a school for girls in her  village.

Saint Judy also takes the viewer on a journey into the drama of complex and heart-warming  relationships with her son, ex-husband, boss, employee, opposing counsel and clients. The film reminds  the viewer that we’re all human and most of us will rise to the challenge when the best is expected of us.

I watched Saint Judy at a personally difficult phase of my life having spent the last three years experiencing the Australian legal system for the first time. It’s been an emotionally, financially and physically harrowing experience that’s left me disillusioned, frustrated and understanding that we have a  legal, rather than a justice, system. At stake for me, was and continues to be the safety of a courageous woman and her two vulnerable children.

I was riveted throughout Saint Judy, I cried and even had an occasional chuckle, but I also felt that kernel of hope that was almost snuffed out spark and re-energise me that we can all, individually and collectively, make a difference in our world. I encourage you to take a couple of hours, immerse yourself  in this drama and enjoy the soundtrack as you find your inspiration to make your world that little bit  brighter for the people in it. After all, for anyone who prays the Lord’s Prayer, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, I pray that after watching this movie, you’ll be inspired to work towards your own bit  of heaven here and now.

Edit: Saint Judy will be released in cinemas on Thursday 20 August by Heritage Films. Find a screening here, and watch the official trailer here.

Maggie Johns

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