WHERE TO WATCH
Yaron, an elite special operations squad leader, is the spiritual leader and alpha male among his peers, a small, highly trained team that is part of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s Anti-Terrorism unit. Like a band of brothers, these men work, play, laugh, and cry together. They are true patriots; they love their country, their families, and each other. Yaron is ambitious and energetic, but a cyclone of emotions consumes him. His wife is expecting their first child, and the failing health of a team member weighs on his soul as the men contend with an unforgivable accident resulting from a miscalculation during a recent rescue mission, and the price that must be paid as a result of this.
As the story shifts, the antagonists are introduced: a small group of young, passionate, idealist, and politically extreme individuals with their own vision of how Israeli society should be. They see themselves as a Robin Hood of sorts, and although their means involve methods of terrorism, set forth to make their misguided vision a reality. Circumstances swell, and Yaron faces something he never imagined; the prospect of the very sort of evil he works to eliminate taking on the form of his beloved Israeli countrymen. For the sake of his team, his expectant wife, and himself, he must hold himself together and perform his duties.
Director Nadav Lapid made several short films during his studies in the Sam Spiegel Film School, which were screened in Cannes, Berlin and Locarno. His graduate film, Emile’s Girlfriend (50 min) was distributed in France. He participated in the Festival de Cannes Residence, where he wrote the script for Policeman. The project won the pitching price of the Jerusalem Film Festival and of the Thessaloniki Film Festival in 2008. Keep On Dancing, a collection of novels he wrote, was published in Israel and France. Lapid studied philosophy and history and worked as a sports and culture journalist, a television critic and documentary cinematographer.
The New York Times
By Manohla Dargis
“Mr. Lapid, making an electrifying feature directing debut, traces the line between the group and the individual in a story that can be read as a commentary on the world as much as on Israel.”
The LA Times
By Kenneth Turan
“Though you don’t know it at first, Policeman is divided into sections, and the most impressive is the initial one, a riveting portrait of Yaron, the Policeman of the title, played with unswerving conviction by Yiftach Klein, memorable as the charismatic male lead in ‘Fill the Void'”
The Hollywood Reporter
By Todd McCarthy
“A boldly conceived and bracingly told political drama, Policeman (Hashoter) possesses a special contemporary pertinence in the wake of the recent massive protests relating to the vast class and economic disparities in Israel.”
By Olivier Père
“It’s been a long time since a first feature has displayed such masterly direction as Nadav Lapid’s Policeman (Hashoter), such a sense of connection to the films of Godard, Bresson, Fassbinder, Kubrick, and Haneke, and giving those more perceptive viewers such a conviction of witnessing the arrival of an outstanding filmmaker while also discovering a major film as brilliant in formal terms as in its ideas.”
FESTIVALS & AWARDS
- Locarno International Film Festival: BEST FEATURE FILM
- Philadelphia International Film Festival: BEST FEATURE FILM
- Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival: BEST FILM/DIRECTOR
- San Francisco International Film Festival: BEST NEW DIRECTOR
- Cinema Palme D’or