Screenings at Schools in South Africa
Rule of law, constitutionalism, post conflict transition to democracy, human rights, gender equality, transformation of the judiciary—the subjects to which Courting Justice speaks—have attracted global interest.
Courting Justice has awakened more than 1,000 Cape Town middle school and high school students to the importance of these matters, but more significantly it has inspired reflections on life’s possibilities for themselves and has motivated them to realize those possibilities.
Students from Alexander Sinton High School attending screening of
Courting Justice in the Labia movie theater in Capetown, SA
KIM, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - [Seeing Courting Justice] meant a great deal to me as it showed powerful women succeeding in a male-dominated workplace. I was particularly inspired by Judge Mandisa Maya’s story [coming]... from a village in Umtata who has worked her way up to where she is today. She is also proud of where she comes from. All the women in the documentary are examples to young people like me, of what can be achieved in life and I applaud them. The documentary has taught me that there is a place for women as leaders in society and has given me hope of being one of them in the future.
SAFWAAN, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - Watching Courting Justice was an exciting experience for me. The solution for women is that they should take a stand and fight for their Human Rights. The percentage of women judges should increase to 50% so that there will be equality between males and females. Rape cases should not be closed due to too little evidence, because this lets criminals free to rape again – they should be dealt with. Judges and lawyers should also take some time off to spend with their families so that they don't neglect them.
NABEELAH, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - Watching this documentary has been a great experience for me because I want to have a career in the law. I have learnt that being a judge is not just about wearing a coloured robe and passing out judgment but putting on those robes are like a ritual for the judges before going onto the bench and passing out sentence. ..Judges are ordinary people who have worked hard to be where they are today. Time with their families is sacrificed to make the country a better place.
TRISTAN, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - The movie meant a lot to me because I hope to pursue a career in law one day. The women who shard their challenges and hardships, trying to get where they are today in a male-dominated society, made me realize how privileged I am. I am privileged in the sense that because of them I have motivation and encouragement to not feel inferior to men. The way they empowered themselves and became successful despite the odds made me proud to be a woman and want to prosper in my life and future. [What] I admired the most was that they became powerful people based on hard work and perseverance and not based on skin colour, backgrounds or sex. We should all be involved in making a difference ...in South Africa. The women in Courting Justice are an inspiration to young women regardless of who they are and they in turn should... feel inspired.
LISA, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - Courting Justice... opened my eyes to what is expected of me as an up-and- coming business woman. It also taught me not to feel intimidated by men in our male-dominated society. It showed me that with power comes great responsibility. I admired the way these women gracefully rose above the challenges and came into power not by race or sex but by determination. It is the responsibility of people to allow themselves to be inspired and make opportunities happen.
NICOLE, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - This was a very emotional experience for me .When I saw the prison cell and court, I couldn’t control my emotions any longer because my father had been wrongfully imprisoned and it had not seemed real to me until then. Seeing the courts made me cry and I thanked God for my amazing father and for the opportunity to grow up as a strong young woman under his influence. The movie was also about women being empowered to do the right thing.
TAYLOR, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary because it was the first time I have watched a documentary in a theatre..... Even though I thought it would be uninteresting, it taught me a lot. These women inspired me, by the way they have achieved their goals and dreams and how they have accomplished things without any doubts about themselves. I think that in South Africa our people should be proud of people in our country who have overcome fear and hardships created during Apartheid. We definitely need more women judges because we need to show men we can do whatever they can do and show them we can work hard for what we want in life.
CALEB, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - Courting Justice showed me that the only way in which we can empower and better ourselves is by education. That is why I think it is of utmost importance that we learn about our rights and that teenage girls get educated about the importance of studying – no matter what their career paths are. The government should take the financial burdens off our shoulders and provide us with bursaries. Then we’ll persevere and work in order to make a success of our lives.
IMRAANAH, Alexander Sinton High School, Crawford, Cape Town, SA - Courting Justice, was not only about women trying to mete out justice but about their struggle to be accepted as females in their workplace. Being the only females amongst all those males was quite challenging... because people believe that this is a man’s world. If it really is a man’s world, then why are there women in it? .....Why can’t men in this world accept the fact that women can do as much as men and more.
I believe that if men could just accept women and their abilities and capabilities of doing as much as men can, there won't be any problems at all, but I guess that won't happen. For decades men have been this way towards women so why would they want to see reason now?
Students from Immaculata Girls High School, Clare Road, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA
Immaculata Girls High School students and teacher, Miss Bev Mcarthur
SHELLY-KAY, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The film showed me that it doesn’t matter where you come from but it’s where you are going in life... Access to the courts protect our democracy because ...we have to have freedom and the court is there to ensure that that happens.
CARYN, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The film inspired me to take responsibility for my actions and voice my opinion and spread the word that we can have a positive and an equal environment. We can work together and show that this world can be a great place. We always hear about crime. It’s up to us to change this.
CELESTE, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - I learnt that women can also be in positions of power and that justice can be served when women are empowered to handle situations or cases. Honestly I can say that women are powerful. We can make a difference in our country... and should not let males push us down in any way...
YARDLEY, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The moment that really stood out for me was when the women judges were standing at a wall of photos of many former judges. I will never forget this because it shows how many generations and years men were in high positions. From this film I learnt that no matter where you are from, you can make something of your life and that no one can stop you ... No matter what life throws at you, if a lady from the townships can become a top judge, then so can I. Failure is not an obstacle.
FATIMA, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The most memorable moment in the film for me was when Judge Patricia Goliath showed us the place (her school) where she knew for the first time that she wanted to be greater than she had been during the Apartheid years.
LEE-ANNE, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - When Judge Mandisa Maya visited her home in the Transkei, the way she greeted everyone taught me that even though you are in a high position, you should never forget where you come from because where you come from will always be a part of you and you should be proud of it. She isn’t ashamed of her background. The film taught me that Apartheid is over and women can now do jobs that were considered as “men’s jobs”. Gender discrimination is over.
The film also taught me that no matter where you come from, be it a poor or rich background, you can still make your dreams a reality because anything is possible if you work hard and believe in yourself. I now strongly believe that despite my background, my goals can be achieved if I am willing to work hard and never give up, no matter what happens. You can build your future by using your past.
YONELA, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The film shows me that ...women are leaders, even though they are people who have their own families and their own lives ...
PATIENCE, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The film showed the transitions from male domination in the judiciary to the inclusion of women. ... It taught me that things can change. When fighting for what you believe in, you can change someone else’s life. Change occurs when people aren’t afraid of taking risks. This film has changed my perspective on law and how important it is to the country. I will be supportive of change in South Africa.
ZIMKHITA, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - Stereotyping continues to impact on our society by causing separation or division of the sexes. Stereotyping... makes it difficult for women to even think of studying law because of the pressure they might face. We can make a difference by challenging ourselves and go for whatever career we want even though it may be male-dominated, to prove the stereotyping wrong.
TEMBISA, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The moment I won’t forget was when the women judges put on their robes... They then had the power to make decisions that could change people’s lives. I learnt from the film about the importance of the Constitutional Court, the Constitution and why people should know their rights, especially women and how education shapes one’s future. The film inspired me to work harder and to study further to become a lawyer or even a judge, It showed me that I can make it.
BEVERLY, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The idea suggested by the film that you can be anything through hard work and believing in yourself inspires me. People believe that men should be in power and earn the most, but I feel that if I as a young woman feel that I can do certain tasks, then who can stop me?
SANILESIWE, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The most memorable moment in the film was seeing these awesome women wearing their judicial robes and work towards reconstructing lost legitimacy in our country. The film taught me that your circumstance can’t shape who you become and neither does it draw a line of limitation. Even though the Apartheid era has left scars on many individuals, the era made women strong, brave and eager to work in a male-dominated workplace and help fight for justice in South Africa.
ANITA, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - The film inspires me to make a difference. A difference begins with just one person. We must find other people who support our ideas and try to work with them to do something effective. ...A person who is powerful is a person that stands up for what is right.
MARCY, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - When Judge Mandisa Maya went back home to visit her family it gave me a sense of pride as she showed me that no matter who you are or where you get to in life, you should always be proud of where you come from. The film taught me that...you can change the world by changing yourself first. You can prove people wrong by showing them that anything can be done if you have a dream.
No matter what has happened to me, I can still reach all my goals and become that woman of worth that I want to be, by starting small then working slowly at it. I will never give up because it will only hurt me. We can as women show that we too can do things previously kept for only men to do, that we too are strong and can stand up for ourselves. We can also start the Domino effect by showing the world what we can do and in turn men will change their mindsets... Women were never considered able to become judges and the women in Courting Justice broke through the stereotype and showed the world that they could do it.
CHARNTELLE, Immaculata Girls High School, Wynberg, Cape Town, SA - Women are degraded because they are told that they are not good enough for a job because of stereotyping and beliefs. We have to prove them wrong (people who perpetrate stereotypes that lead to gender inequality and violence). We are all equal.
Annette Fatti engages each student—through her
She is now bringing her talent to students in other South Africa cities.
The film is also available in a shorter 54 minute version for purchase as a DVD from amazon.com
- contact Ruth Cowan directly to request her availability to introduce Courting Justice and moderate post-screening discussions
outside US & Canada, contact Annette Fatti