Programmed by Luc-Carolin Ziemann
A one year observation of German police training. At a remote location high school graduates are trained to become police officers. Real-life simulations and practice at the shooting range are the preparation for the second part of their training: going out on the streets and face the real world. It’s their first year in the academy and on the beat: they are confronted with an extreme reality. For the first time this documentary gives an uncensored look into the German police.
Director Marie Wilke studied with Harun Farocki whose style of direct cinema has definitely influenced this film. Wilke follows four junior civil servants who gradually realize what (unexpected) challenges they will face. It is impressive how the film manages to show these moments of realization, without any comment or music, but very explicit periods of silence.
This film is a sparse, yet gripping documentary, carried by the tensions of everyday police work and the likable characters of the main protagonists. Fortunately, the film keeps a distance from reality TV by preserving the integrity of the "clients" and by the good portion of self-reflection the junior civil servants show in their interviews. A complex, nuanced and sometimes challenging observation of a difficult job that not everyone is able or wants to do.
Curator, author and film educator