The feature-length French police procedural Polisse, from director/writer Maïwenn, has been garnering acclaim since 2011, when it took home the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. This year, it received an impressive 13 César Award nominations; including a Best Supporting Actor nod to rapper/actor Joeystarr.
Described as a film which "follows the daily lives of a tight-knit team of men and women working in the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police", Polisse could easily be dismissed as a big-screen French-version of Law & Order:SVU. But after watching the film's trailer, and an explosive clip that feature's Joeystarr's character, I think Polisse deserves a serious look from American filmgoers. Check it out for yourself:
Now watch Joeystarr do his thing in this exclusive clip:
Pretty intense. Polisse opens here in DC and becomes available On Demand on May 25, and I definitely will be checking it out. Make sure to check the listings for an independent theater nearest you, as Polisse could be in and out of theaters before one realizes.
But just who is Joeystarr, anyway?
While trying to locate more info on the 90's hardcore-rapper, I kept reading about how much of a bad-ass he is. Originally of Martinican-descent, Joeystarr-- born Didier Morville-- formed the rap group Supreme NTM with partner Kool Shen in 1989. Joeystarr's personal history is filled with accounts of volatile moments, including a troubled childhood spent with a violent father who killed his pet rabbit and then made young Didier eat it! WTF?!!
It should then come as no surprise that violence and Joeystarr would almost become synonymous. Before he started rapping, Joeystarr spent time in the Army, presumably learning how to kill. 13 years ago, he reportedly did several months in prison, for assaulting a flight attendant.
The strangest story I read about him, though, was an incident in 2003 for which he was publicly condemned for animal brutality, after he hit a monkey on national television. Not that I'm a champion for the rights of monkeys, or anything, but I didn't want to believe that Joeystarr could stoop so low. That was, of course, before I saw the tape:
I don't know . . . after watching the clip of Polisse and the clip with the monkey, I'm starting to see a pattern. If he ever intends on working in America, he'd better not try that over here. Monkeys in this country have rights, and they can fight.
Regardless, I'm interested in seeing the entire performance that earned Joeystarr a César Award nomination. Most especially, I'll be looking to see if that explosive off-camera persona is present in his acting. Although, after viewing the above clip from Polisse, I may already know the answer to that question.