Review: ‘Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project’ – who is it for?

Review: ‘Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project’ – who is it for?
‘Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project’ premiered in April. Supplied
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Updated 08 April 2020

Review: ‘Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project’ – who is it for?

Review: ‘Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project’ – who is it for?

CHENNAI: Kim Kardashian West’s documentary about her work as a criminal-justice advocate was released this week — sparking both amusement and applause online.

“Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project,” which is streaming on Oxygen, follows Kardashian as she fights for the release of Alice Marie Johnson, a single mother who became a drug mule out of necessity and was given a sentence of life plus 25 years in the early 1990s.

The camera captures the reality star telling a group of prisoners, “I just saw something that seemed really unfair to me and I thought that I had a voice.”



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Back in July, I visited the Correctional Treatment Facility in Washington D.C. to discuss the Georgetown Prison Scholars program with Dr. @marcmhoward. Recently, I spoke to Dr. Marc as he teaches his course at Georgetown University. I seen a few familiar faces that were recently released from prison. They all spent over two decades in prison and they were also on the chat speaking to students as Dr. Marc teaches his course. Their names are Momolu Stewart, Halim Flowers & Roy Middleton. This makes me so happy to see them recently released from prison doing such great things. I can’t wait for you guys to watch my documentary, to get a better understanding of the justice system and see what it’s like for someone like these men to get a second chance at life after prison. Tune-in to my 2-Hour documentary #KKWTheJusticeProject this Sunday, April 5th at 7/6c on @oxygen.

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Justice is a part of the whole endeavor, but in the documentary Kardashian comes first. The film concentrates on her efforts to educate herself on the law and prisoners are used as emotional camera bait, with the star appearing every so often to make comments like “her story broke my heart” about various cases. But what if a case were not to move the star emotionally? Would it also merit her attention? Only time will tell.

The documentary highlights harrowing cases — a woman raped by her step-grandfather who eventually kills him and another who is not protected by sex trafficking laws and is tried as an adult despite being just 15.

Viewers could be left frustrated by Kardashian’s sometimes naïve approach — “even seeing her, you could see how sweet and quiet and maybe easily influenced she could have been as a child,” she says in one scene for example.

There is also sneaking suspicion that Kardashian, however much her concern for the incarcerated men and women may be, is looking for some kind of publicity for her own achievements. A certain lack of selflessness appears to be missing here — the constant flash of cameras as Johnson declares she was granted clemency by US President Donald Trump, after Kardashian met with him in 2018, does leave a bitter taste — but on the flipside, perhaps this is exactly the kind of exposure these incarcerated men and women need?

In the end, we wonder whether the documentary – which was nicely edited at two hours-long – is for the prisoners or for Kardashian herself.


UK initiative returns with MENA art in focus

The Friday Hangout: MENA Arts UK Takeover will begin on Feb. 5 when Sally El-Hosaini, a director who has won awards for her film “My Brother The Devil” at London, Berlin and Sundance film festivals, will speak to audiences via Zoom. (The Arab British Centre)
The Friday Hangout: MENA Arts UK Takeover will begin on Feb. 5 when Sally El-Hosaini, a director who has won awards for her film “My Brother The Devil” at London, Berlin and Sundance film festivals, will speak to audiences via Zoom. (The Arab British Centre)
Updated 21 January 2021

UK initiative returns with MENA art in focus

The Friday Hangout: MENA Arts UK Takeover will begin on Feb. 5 when Sally El-Hosaini, a director who has won awards for her film “My Brother The Devil” at London, Berlin and Sundance film festivals, will speak to audiences via Zoom. (The Arab British Centre)
  • Program will feature established artists with links to region
  • Organizers emphasize need for cultural community amid pandemic

LONDON: Artists, actors and writers from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will take part in the latest instalment of an initiative set up to provide a sense of cultural community during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Arab British Centre and MENA Arts UK will collaborate to deliver a series of online talks by established creators that will give the public a chance to ask them questions directly, and the creators an opportunity to reflect on their work during the pandemic.

The Friday Hangout: MENA Arts UK Takeover will begin on Feb. 5 when Sally El-Hosaini, a director who has won awards for her film “My Brother The Devil” at London, Berlin and Sundance film festivals, will speak to audiences via Zoom.

In the following weeks, award-winning writers and actors — including BAFTA winner Amir El-Masry — will also take part in the program.

This year’s program is the second in the Hangout series, the first of which was introduced early in the pandemic in 2020.

MENA Arts UK was formed last year to celebrate Britain-based artists with a connection to the region.

“We’ve been overwhelmed by the incredible response to our launch last year, and are so excited to be partnering with the Arab British Centre,” said Laura Hanna, a member of MENA Arts UK’s steering group.

“This Takeover means we can create and open up conversations around the work of MENA+ artists for a wider audience.”

The Arab British Centre is a cultural organization that regularly hosts and takes part in events celebrating and fostering cultural connections between the UK and the Arab world.

“We are delighted to be bringing back our Friday Hangout series with our friends at MENA Arts UK,” said Amani Hassan, acting executive director of the Arab British Centre.

 

“As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to severely impact life here in the UK, creating spaces where we can come together for a moment of community, culture and creativity is as essential now as it was back in March last year.”