Doc Soup Returns with ‘Motley’s Law’


The popular Doc Soup series returns to the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema this week with the Canadian premiere of Nicole Nielsen Horanyi’s Motley’s Law&. The doc profiles lawyer Kimberley Motley who walked away from her career in the USA to cash in on an opportunity to train lawyers in Afghanistan. Horanyi follows Motley as her values shift from dollars to sense as she becomes a human rights lawyer after immersing herself in the mess of Kabul’s legal system. It’s a remarkable story of a true hero.

The film comes to Doc Soup after a successful run on the festival circuit with stops at the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, CPH: DOX and DOC NYC from which it carries some laurels with a win for the Viewfinders Grand Jury Prize. The Hollywood Reporter calls Motley’s Law a “jarring, up-close depiction,” while Roger Ebert.com writes that Motley is a great subject for a doc portrait because she “doesn’t respond to adversity the way that many of us would.”

Little White Lies, finally, suggests that this doc is a fine alternative to Marvel movies when it comes to superhero flicks. “What’s most interesting is that the film doesn’t paint an idealistic picture of human rights lawyers,” writes LWL, “it simply is an inspirational journey. From the beginning we learn that Motley first came to Afghanistan for money – she doesn’t only argue women rights cases because, “it doesn’t pay the bills”. But Horanyi manages to show her foolproof humanity and pragmatism towards the danger of the situation at any time. And that is worthy of superhero status.”

Motley’s Law screens at the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema on Wednesday, Oct. 5 and Thursday, Oct. 6. The screenings include introductions and post-screening Q&As with director Nicole Nielsen Horanyi .

Subscribe to the full season of Doc Soup here. Next month’s screening is the JT LeRoy doc Author: The JT LeRoy Story with subject Laura Albert in attendance.