Damages 0+

Thomas Balmés, FRA - FIN 2007, original version / Czech subtitles, 58 min

Every year in the United States billions of dollars are paid out in personal damages. Koskoff Koskoff & Bieder is one of the biggest legal firms specialising in this type of case. This fast–paced film is divided into ten vignettes, which deal with various aspects of legal practice as well as the problematic questions that the lawyers have to face. For example, how do you place a financial value on a year of someone's life, which the person in question lost due to negligence? One element that unites all the stories is the effort to construct the best possible argument and win as much financial compensation for the client as well as for the firm. One of the most powerful moments in the film involves the story of two lesbians whose case will set a very necessary precedent for people in the future. The funniest sequences involve office discussions between the lawyers. Some of them exhibit a dazzling and mesmerising intelligence while others surprisingly possess an impenetrable pragmatism. This unique behind–the–scenes look at a large firm is light–hearted without being trivial. On the contrary, it demonstrates the complexity of the compensation system in the United States.

 

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