‘Miss Judy’ is a remarkable story in an unremarkable film

Miss Judy

Directed by Eyal Tavor

Israel, 2011

Judy Feld Carr, third from the right, with her family

Judy Feld Carr is a Toronto housewife, mother of six. She is a musicologist and a president at her local synagogue. But what many people may not know is that, for 28 years, she’s been helping Syrian Jews escape oppression and flee to freedom. This is made even more remarkable when we realize that, among the people who are oblivious to her anonymity, are some of the 3,228 Jews she helped rescue.

As with most documentaries, Miss Judy draws the viewer in with its incredible, real-life story. Carr, herself, is portrayed as a modern day Raoul Wallenberg. Although it focuses a lot of attention on Carr, the film, quite pragmatically, also allows the victims and survivors tell there own story. Along with being brave, heroic, determined and passionate, Carr is shown to be incredibly humble, never taking excessive credit for her work.

Her humanitarian efforts should surely garner universal respect and praise (she did receive the Order of Canada), but the film itself should not. At only 37 minutes long, the pace is incredibly brisk, hoping to encapsulate as many stories and points of view as possible. This makes everything feel rushed, and a bit too hurried to fully soak in.

The production value is also quite poor, with the reenactment scenes, in particular, being patently unrealistic, breaking any sort of tension. In fact, Miss Judy embodies a small-screen, television program aesthetic, which isn’t deserving of a story that merits a proper big-screen adaptation.

– Justin Li

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