POLISSE (R16) (127 min)
REVIEW: Directed by Maiwenn. Starring Karin Viard, Joeystarr, Marina Fois.
Set in the child protection unit of the Parisian police, and with a script based closely on actual cases and events, Polisse sounds almost unwatchably grim. And to be fair, there are moments here of indelible horror.
But the genius of Polisse is that it leavens the darkness with some fabulous insights into the minds and hearts of the police who are dealing with the crimes, and also of the victims and the perpetrators.
It's impossible to write insightfully and accurately about any actual human being without stumbling across some real absurdist humour somewhere within them.
With Polisse, director Maiwenn, her cast, and especially her co-writers and editor, have achieved something very special.
The film takes on the darkest of all possible subjects, and treats it with complete dignity and unvarnished honesty, while still finding the time to tell the stories - often bleakly hilarious - of the cops, their partners, and the people they work with.
I went into Polisse full of trepidation, but I came out fully appreciative of why this film has been a sensation and a multi-award winner. I've never seen a more honest and sympathetic view of the police. Don't let the subject matter put you off, Polisse is a wonderful film.
- The Dominion Post