An Israeli Film Popping With Lipstick and Guns


Shirtless men on bicycles, male bonding, gender relations, and social unrest. In Policeman, Israeli director Nadav Lapid’s newest film, opening in select theaters on June 13, a band of special operations unit policemen, led by the patriotic and driven Yaron, contend with their own fallibility and the rupturing of Israeli society.

In the opening scene, five men cycle shirtless, then stop to admire the land. “This is the most beautiful country in the world,” one proclaims. They drip with patriotism and sweat. As it progresses, the film leaves the viewer wondering what relevance the Israeli national narrative has today, and who true the patriots are, as the unit confronts ideological economic activists with a violent agenda.

No run-of-the-mill action movie, Policeman uses the 2011 social protests in Tel Aviv as a jumping-off point to examine what it means to be Israeli, using a very American protagonist archetype: the moral but troubled action hero.

Ranked high in various best undistributed films polls of 2011, Policeman offers a glimpse into a society in which no one’s duty is crystal-clear. Lapid critiques both the officers and the protestors, ultimately offering a new take on the internal and external controversies within Israeli society.

Watch the trailer of Policeman:

Watch a Taiwanese short animated clip about the Israeli social justice protests:

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