name = The Policeman
caption = "The Policeman" theatrical poster
producer = Ephraim Kishon
writer = Ephraim Kishon
music = Nurit Hirsch
cinematography = David Gurfinkel
editing = Anna Gurit
distributor = "Cinema 5 Distributing"
released = flag|Israel 1970
runtime = 87 min.
language = Hebrew
imdb_id = 0066374
"The Policeman" is the international release title of a
1971 Israeli feature movie, written and directed by satirist Ephraim Kishon. Its Hebrew title is "HaShoter Azoulay" (השוטר אזולאי; The Policeman Azoulay). The title character is played by Shaike Ophir(credited as Shay K. Ophir), in what is considered one of his finest performances.
The movie was nominated for the
1972 Academy Awardfor best foreign-language film, and won the Golden Globein the same category. It won several other awards, such as best foreign film in the Barcelonafilm festival and best director in the Monte Carlofestival. In Israel it is considered a cinematic classic.
Officer Avraham Azoulay is a patrolman in
Tel-Aviv's district of Jaffa. He is an honest man, though extremely naive, and because of his character, has never been promoted during his twenty years in the force. He is married to a dull woman (played by veteran actress Zaharira Harifai); the couple have no children.
His superiors, Captain Levkovich and First Sergeant Bejerano, decide not to renew his contract, though they feel sorry for him. In the meantime, he falls in love with the simple but charming prostitute Mimi, and removes her photograph from the arrests billboard. His wife finds the photo and tears it to pieces, which Azoulay secretly glues together again. Nevertheless, this love will not be realized as Azoulay refuses to divorce his wife, claiming that "it will destroy her". In addition, being a
Kohen, he cannot marry a prostitute according to Halakha.
Azoulay shows some success at dispersing a demonstration without resorting to violence; he also charms a group of visiting French policemen who adore the French-speaking policeman. None of these events, however, help to change his superiors' decision to dismiss him. Azoulay forms a friendship with Amar, unaware that he is a notorious criminal. The criminal and his associates decide to fake a crime and allow Azoulay to catch them in the act so that he receive a promotion and regain his contract. They finally decide upon stealing ritual objects, including a large golden
cross, from a monasteryin the neighborhood. Azoulay manages to catch the criminal in the act and is finally promoted to the rank of a sergeant, but his contract is not renewed and he is forced to retire from the police.
In the final scene officer Azoulay leaves the precinct with his new rank and policemen practicing marches in the courtyard all turn to salute him for the first and last time in his life. The final shot of the film presents Azoulay saluting the marching policemen as his eyes filled with tears. This image became one of the most memorable in Israeli cinema.
* [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0066374/ The Policeman] at the
Internet Movie Database
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
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