Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Friday, 15 June 2012 00:00

'Polisse' hurtles through detectives’ lives
Written by Diane Carson
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About this Media...

The noisy, fierce French film Polisse powerfully captures the world of a Parisian Child Protection Unit: camaraderie and conflicts, triumphs and tragedies. This crime drama focuses on the entire group of detectives who party as hard as they work in an episodic story with nonstop action sporting the energy of The Shield and the sobering perspective of The Wire.

Throughout its relentless two hours-plus, the brilliant ensemble cast ricochets from one situation to another: interrogations of pedophiles and statements from their victims, pursuit of molesters and pickpockets, attempts to recover abducted babies, raids on those exploiting minors. As one policeman says, "You try to take it one case at a time, but it takes its toll." Polisse shows the many ways the volatile squad tries sometimes successfully, sometimes not, to cope, including outbursts of anger as well as dark humor. The performances, the pace and the honesty give weight to Polisse's dramatization of a universal, tragic social problem.


Directed and co-written by Maïwenn with Emmanuelle Bercot, Maïwenn inserts herself into the group as Melissa, a photographer documenting the unit for the Ministry of the Interior. Our surrogate, she observes from the sidelines, struggling to keep up as the energetic camerawork and quick, sometimes abrupt, edits propel the multiple stories forward.


Despite the numerous cases and the large cast, the actors efficiently and effectively convey striking, three-dimensional, flawed characters about whom I repeatedly wanted to know more. The dense content could easily have provided a season of drama for a television series. As a snapshot of group dynamics, Polisse feels close to documentary truth. As a depiction of the enervating, soul numbing work with some of the most reprehensible criminals, it never blinks from the toll such exposure takes.


I first saw this film a year ago, and it continues to stay with me as though I saw it yesterday, so unconventional and compelling is its world. Last year Polisse won the Cannes Film Festival Jury Prize, with kudos bestowed for the brilliant ensemble performances. It also won two César awards, the French equivalent of our Oscars, and received a dozen other César nominations. In French and some Italian, Arabic and Romanian, all with English subtitles. At a Landmark Theatre.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr

Local Artist Spotlight

The Mound City Slickers

Mon August 4

The Driftaways

Mon July 28
The Driftaways are a seven-man reggae band hailing from St. Louis. Their E.P. "Don't Hide" is full of high-energy jams and groovy improvisations that give the band's music a good-time vibe. Download their…

KDHX Recommends


TOCO Family Festival

TOCO hosts its annual Family Festival at Jellystone Park in Eureka, featuring camping, live music, contests, family activities, art, food, vendors and much more.


Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014

Amelia White with Sergio Webb at Harvest Sessions 2014 Nashville, Tennessee-based songwriter Amelia White with guitarist Sergio Webb are this week's featured artists for Harvest Sessions. This free Saturday morning concert series takes place at the Tower Grove Farmers' Market,...


Small Black, Scarlet Tanager

KDHX welcomes Small Black to the Ready Room, with Scarlet Tanager. This event is all ages.

Get Answers!

If you have questions or need to contact KDHX, visit our answers portal at

Upcoming Events HAPPENING

Online Users

3 users and 9932 guests online
Sign in with Facebook


Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook