Films: Policeman

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Policeman  {Ha-shoter}


Israel, 2011, 105 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Programs: Contemporary World Cinema, Eye on Films
Language: Hebrew English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Nadav Lapid
Producer: Itai Tamir
Principal Cast: Yiftach Klein, Yaara Pelzig

Beginning with a bike ride instead of a bang, Israeli writer-director Nadav Lapid’s gripping freshman effort quickly establishes its credentials as anything but your traditional police procedural. The opening segment underscores the competitive nature and sheer physicality of Yaron (Yiftach Klein), a member of a special police unit tasked with counterterrorism duties—but subsequent scenes of the unit bonding over hot dogs and impromptu wrestling matches as well as of Yaron’s family life, complete with pregnant wife, ensure he’s no mere hard man, even as he’s convincing a colleague with a brain tumor to take the fall for a previous anti-terrorist raid gone awry.

Halfway through, the focus abruptly shifts to a terrorist group—not a jihadist cell but a cabal of well-off Jewish revolutionaries motivated by class. Led by the Byronic Natanel (Michael Aloni) and revolutionary muse Shira (Yaara Pelzig), the group pursues an ill-conceived course of hostage-taking; enter Yaron and his men. In the aftermath, Policeman takes a broad view by eschewing genre tropes in favor of a thoughtful meditation on the nature of machismo, alienation, and political naiveté.

Eye On Films

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