Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Criminals and The Cinema

LeeLee has five days of school trips this week associated with both literature and her Bac S. Yesterday her group went to the cinema to see a government film clarifying the French Criminal Justice System.

We all spent a happy hour late last night in tears of laughter as she described the experience. The bottle of champagne we had drunk might have been a contributory factor of course.....

Other than leaving them all with the impression that 90% of the criminals (Oops, sorry! I mean those innocent individuals totally misunderstood by society) in France are black, it managed to make them very cynical of the whole process.

The Judiciary representative explained that they were there to discover all the facts of a case whilst the Advocat representing the suspect was there to teach the potential criminal what to say in order to get off the charge. That was actually said on film!

It was not the height of cinematography either. Long, long minutes were spent where the camera focused on the backs of the prison officer and the suspect walking between different rooms in the prison, with no sound at all!

Three examples had us in stitches - it was voted the best comedy of the year by the students.

1. The Prostitute and the Electric Car
This lady was being charged with stealing a car. When asked to explain how come she was found in the car with the engine running, many kilometers away from where the owner had parked it, she gave an insight into her evening's activities:
"I pulled a client and took off all my clothes. Needing somewhere safe to store them whilst I was busy, I decided to put them on the back seat of this car that just happened to be there.
Because it was an electric car, I had to get in the driver's seat and start the engine, in order to then be able to get out and open the back door to put my clothes on the seat..........someone else must have stolen the car earlier that evening because I could not have stolen it - I do not have a driving licence! "

2. Bringing Out Your Feminine Side
A gentleman was charged with stealing jewellery from a department store. When asked what happened, he explained:
" When I saw all these lovely things on display, my feminine side took over and I just HAD to have those pretty things to wear to make me look good. You cannot be expected to control your feminine side when it takes over! "
When asked why he walked out without paying for these goods, he stated:
"No one in the shop told me I had to pay for them!"

3. Acting Lessons
The avocat is seen explaining to a suspect that the easiest way to 'get off' is to settle on a story that fits the facts whilst leaving you as the innocent party, not having any idea what the police are talking about. The suspect then tries out 'telling' his side of things, at which point the avocat steps in and says :
" No! More like this!" and proceeds to act out the role perfectly, including the ability to cry real tears.....


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