Directors Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg (the geniuses who made Weiner) once again flex their flawless capabilities to go with the flow in their latest exceptional doc The Fight.
In Weiner, the directorial duo were able to expose absurd humour that rumbled underneath Anthony Weiner’s scandalous headlines. In The Fight, the documentarians (along with co-director/co-editor Eli B. Despres) apply their talents towards tracking American Civil Liberties Union lawyers (aka. the ACLU), and their human rights legal debates that run parallel to court cases of their colleagues. These cases include: the transgender military ban, a crucial census question that could compromise American citizenship, family separation, and securing an abortion for someone who is legally allowed to get one.
The point-and-shoot filmmaking is tested to the max as the legal battles continue and the individual stories of the ACLU lawyers are elaborated on. Lawyer Dale Ho has a memorable arc, for instance, that explores a vulnerable side to Ho’s public persona which gradually develops into a really sweet conclusion for himself and the case. Brigitte Amiri, who takes on the pro-choice debate, fights against a ticking, diminishing timeline for her client and then further carries out the case to settle future debates on the issue – it’s an extremely tense experience to watch as an outsider.
There’s still a light trickle of humour, mostly to make these lawyers relatable for the audience, but The Fight is definitely focused on the timely matter of the current U.S government’s violation of human rights. We also feel the exhaustion of the documentary’s primary lawyers as President Donald Trump makes their journey to justice more difficult with unpredictable and controversial decisions.
The Fight is spectacularly entertaining and inspiring. I feel very confident that it’s the best documentary that’s been made about living through the Trump era.
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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie