22 June - 28 June 2012
Winner of last year’s Jury Prize at Cannes, Polisse is an impressive tour-de-force of ensemble acting. It represents a real leap for writer/director/actress Maïwenn, who has come a long way from being the child star who married Luc Besson at the age of 16. Tough and gritty, this is a police drama with a social conscience, packed with raw emotion and visceral energy.
Polisse revolves around a group of officers who work for a Child Protection Unit in Paris (the title of the film comes from a child’s misspelling of the word police). The film unfolds through a series of cases based on extensive research undertaken by Maïwenn and her co-writer Emmanuelle Bercot. The cases reveal a variety of difficult issues including child abuse, sex trafficking and abandonment. Spending time with the team dedicated to saving the victims and punishing the perpetrators, we slowly understand the extreme highs and lows of the job which bind them together as a unit.
The cast is a list of who’s who in French cinema – Maïwenn herself, Bercot, Karin Viard, Marina Foïs, Frédéric Pierrot, Sandrine Kiberlain, Nicolas Duvauchelle – but the standout is rapper Joey Starr, lead singer of Suprême NTM, who is terrific in his first acting role as Fred, the bitter cop who takes every case to heart. As touching as it is shocking, Polisse is a film which will stay with you long after the end credits roll.