Sometimes the evening news programmes on the ARD and ZDF channels on German TV suddenly showcase a film. Quite a few years ago, it was Koyaanisquatsi. Later, Lola rennt – perhaps understandable that they would be interested in a very successful German film. They even seemed to think that Rossini had an international future – I liked it, but I didn’t think its references would translate outside Germany.
In the last couple of days, there was a very long plug for the latest Grisham film, Runaway Jury. And this plug was constructed to criticize the American jury system. They even had a clip of Dustin Hoffman saying how many mistrials there have been, and all the fault of the jury.
I don’t know why criticisms of the American jury system make me so hot under the collar. But they are based on a lot of untested assumptions. There seems to be a general belief in Germany that the jury system is completely useless. If the jury system were a perpetuation of injustice as these people seem to believe, it would have gone out the window long ago. How can a public news service suddenly drop its pretended impartiality and sell a film on the basis of unsupported assumptions about a foreign country?
And all at the time when they could be selling a good film like Kill Bill!