Maïwenn infiltrates the police

Maïwenn © AFP

Maïwenn has had quite a run. At the age of 35, the French actress and director has been selected In Competition in Cannes, with her third feature film, Polisse (Poliss). A very realistic film about the daily life of police officers in the Brigade for the Protection of Minors.


Polisse. It is “police” written by someone who does not know how to spell. A child, for example. Polisse was filmed at the Brigade for the Protection des Minors (BPM). With a camera on her shoulder, Maïwenn films the detention of pedophiles, the questioning of abusive parents, the statements of children who are victims, but also the relationships between the police officers.


As in her two previous films, Maïwenn interprets what she observes, from behind the lens. In Pardonnez-moi (Forgive Me), she filmed a personal journal and in Le Bal des actrices (All About Actresses), she created a documentary about actresses. In Polisse, she plays a photographer who has been hired by the Ministry of the Interior to cover the BPM on film. One of the police officers (Joeystarr) falls in love with her. Before she knew that she would make a film about the BPM, Maïwenn wanted Joeystarr to play the lead role and that it would be a love story about two people from very different backgrounds. “I wrote this film for him. He was my motivation and my muse,” says Maïwenn.
Documentary, fiction and autobiography are always intimately blended in Maïwenn’s work. In Polisse, however, she crosses over from her own world (her family, the world of film) to explore a social reality that has profoundly moved her. In search of the truth above all, she immersed herself over several months in the BPM. As a result, every story told in the film was inspired by true situations that she witnessed, or that the police told her about. The actors also took training with former police officers from the BPM to become very familiar with the job, and also to create the atmosphere in the Brigade of being part of a group, almost a family.


B. de M.


Polisse will be screened Friday 13 May at 11:15 a.m. and at 10 p.m. at the Théâtre Lumière.