This inspiring 2019 movie is based on the true story of Los Angeles immigration attorney, Judy Wood, defending an Afghan woman, who was imprisoned and tortured for running a school for girls. She escaped to Los Angeles, only to be imprisoned in the U.S. immigration system and denied political asylum, first because women are not considered a protected class for asylum, and second because standing up the rights of women was not considered a well founded fear of persecution based on “political opinion” under U.S. law. Judy Wood appealed the case to the U.S. 9th Circuit where she convinced the court to consider women’s rights a political stance, thus creating a limited precedent for persecuted advocates for women’s rights to be eligible for asylum in the U.S.
The movie also touches on the challenges that lawyers face every day in balancing earning a living, with raising a family and helping clients.
“Saint Judy” fairly accurately depicts asylum legal proceedings and court proceedings in the U.S., It also has quite a bit of legal English vocabulary, which we will give you before the movie in a definitions page. We hope to also have a guest speaker discussing the legal issues involved, and of course, a women’s day goodie bag.
Directed by Sean Hanish, and staring Michelle Monaghan and Leem Lubany.
Judith Wood, the Los Angeles immigration lawyer the movie is about, will join on Zoom to talk for the last ½ hour.