Chasing Freedom Release Date: 2004 Genre: Drama Director(s): Don McBrearty Writer(s): Barbara Samuels Starring: Juliette Lewis, Layla Alizada and Bruce Gray There’s nothing wrong with this perfectly generic made-for-Court-TV-movie that delivers an entirely acceptable story. Okay, “nothing wrong” isn’t the best phrase to use, but really, this was made for Court TV. The fact that […]

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Chasing Freedom
Release Date: 2004
Genre: Drama
Director(s): Don McBrearty
Writer(s): Barbara Samuels
Starring: Juliette Lewis, Layla Alizada and Bruce Gray

There’s nothing wrong with this perfectly generic made-for-Court-TV-movie that delivers an entirely acceptable story.

Okay, “nothing wrong” isn’t the best phrase to use, but really, this was made for Court TV. The fact that the film isn’t eating through the bottom of the barrel is shocking enough to warrant its rating.

Libby (Lewis) is a corporate lawyer who doesn’t have many defining characteristics. ‘She wears her hair in a bun’ is the farthest we really get. The firm she is trying to become partner at needs someone to do some pro bono work, and she’s their natural choice. In early 2001 she is assigned to defend Meena, a young Afghan woman seeking political asylum from the harsh Taliban government that wants her dead. The court isn’t very sympathetic to Meena’s plight, and neither is Libby, who doesn’t have the time or the knowledge to defend a woman in her situation. Through Meena’s gradual retelling of her heartbreaking story, Libby begins to feel empathy, and searches for ways to keep the court from sending her back.

Chasing Freedom reveals the inadequacy of the courts when it comes to those seeking political asylum. Since Court TV produced this, the film naturally tackles a few legal issues, in addition to pulling at the heartstrings at all the right times. Apparently based on a true story, Chasing Freedom won’t make my best of 2005 list, but it’s a cut above most films of its kind.
DVD: Barebones.

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