Here's something I haven't seen in quite a while: a directorial debut feature-length that feels dangerous, to itself and to its own country - no wonder the Israel government hates him! But it's also a movie that looks at its characters on both ends of the spectrum with honesty and equal footing, and not whatever pretentious wish-fulfillment and cynicism that gets passed as political cinema these days.
Not particularly impressed. Fine performances all around but there's a coldness of direction that fails to take us beneath the surface. The motives of the "terrorists" are murky to say the least. Other than the Yiftach Klein character the rest are either placeholders or so lightly sketched as to barely exist.
Life and death are at th heart of Lapid's film, and he creates a mise en scene of passion and heartbreak in a country where danger is always a shadowy presence. Life for the policeman's pregnant wife contrasts with the death meted out on the job. The young terrorists share passion for a good cause but want to murder the rich. The facial closeups explain a lot about Israeli life in this bold, gut-punching film.
A strange mix that never quite excels in this dual tale concerning an elite cop squad and an unlikely Israeli terrorist group of privileged kids. The first half is the interesting one with a near homo-erotic edge in the comradeship of the officers as they band together facing charges from a previous mission. The second drags the film down with an unfocused amateurish script. By the end any interest is long gone.
Staggeringly well-made film. The collaboration here between Lapid and DP Goldman reminds me of that between the greatest working team in contemporary cinema, Claire Denis and Agnès Godard, and NOBODY EVER reminds me of them - what they do is superlative. In fact, the early attention to the homosocial domain of male police officers explicitly invokes Beau Travail. And things get WAY more profound than I was expecting
In some respects this is not a sophisticated film. Some of the writing, and performances, are too obvious, and can lack nuance altogether. I almost didn't get through it. However, it finds redemption through the sheer power of the subject matter and its portrayal. Worth watching.
It is hard not to read this film as a commentary about Israel's psyche. And it is to its credit that this commentary is very complex, not in the least onesided. The cops are hardened but also care for their own. The anarchists are sick but they don't deserve their fate. Violence has damaged them all. A hard film worth a watch. I felt let down at the end and can't really say why. Build your own opinion.
"Zero Motivation" "Gett" "Youth" "Why hast thou forsaken me?"....I love young israeli filmmakers, love their unique and scathing skill to criticize own country. So finally, I watched Nadav Lapid film and very shocked. Horrifyingly matter-of-fact, deeply critical movie about crash between love-my-countrys and hate-my-countrys. SO SUPERB.
El final de "Policeman" tal vez sea el desliz de la película. Hasta antes, un argumento en dos partes. Por un lado, un policía perturbado por una serie de inseguridades (desde su paternidad hasta su vocación), mientras por otro, un grupo de terroristas poco convencidos de su propio discurso. Entonces todo estaba a un plano de lo sugerente. Era el ser y parecer. Lo último, es la fragilidad sobreexpuesta. Muy forzado.
An apparent attempt to subvert stereotypes of macho police instead immerses itself in them nearly to the point of parody. The structure, avoiding the more common inter-cutting stories, presents them, for the most part, in two segments, followed by a third in which they are somewhat inter-cut as they converge. The performances are fine. The story good enough. But there's not much especially noteworthy here.