Based on real cases from the Paris Child Protection Unit, Polisse examines the brutal tasks of ten CPU officers, bringing together an ensemble cast composed of some of the finest actors working in France today, including Marina Foïs, Karin Viard, and Jérémie Elkaïm. Much like superlative TV procedurals such as The Wire, Polisse—the title is a child’s misspelling of police—has the immediacy of news ripped from the headlines. Director Maïwenn (who also co-wrote the script and costars as Melissa, a photographer embedded within the CPU) immerses viewers into the unimaginable work this tireless corps of civil servants have devoted themselves to: investigating sexual and physical abuse against children, stopping kids from harming themselves or other youngsters. Their assignments are unremittingly horrific, and Polisse smartly explores the toll this grueling labor takes on the officers, both on the job and at home. Marriages and other personal relationships unravel, once-close colleagues become bitter enemies, and supervisors interfere with endless bureaucracy and red tape. But no matter the difficulties in their private and professional lives, these CPU cops remain constantly dedicated to rescuing society’s most vulnerable members from unspeakable harm.
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