Police Beat

Director: Robinson Devor
Screenwriters: Robinson Devor, Charles Mudede

Institute History

  • 2005 Sundance Film Festival


What is it like for a Muslim West African immigrant to become a Seattle policeman and fall in love with a white woman who doesn't believe in monogamy? Robinson Devor returns to Sundance with this gentle, delightfully poetic, and beautifully visualized rumination about the fragmentation and disorientation born out of longing and cultural differences.

Z, a Senegalese bicycle cop, patrols his beat for seven days and six nights while his girlfriend, Rachel, is out of town on a camping trip with another man. Distracted by Rachel's absence, Z pedals around in a trancelike state, reflecting on their disparities and his growing feeling of love, while policing a string of mundane and bizarre criminal situations. As time passes, he becomes increasingly anxious about losing Rachel's affection but realizes that to embrace her is to embrace a way of life that is entirely foreign, and in some ways, humiliating to him.

Cleverly steering around realism, Devor creates a unique and dreamlike world where each character unfurls in unanticipated ways. Z, a man who might normally crumble under the suffocating scrutiny of the law, is able to ponder his issues within the vast liberties of his life as the law. Precisely drawn, Police Beat conjures a sense of what it is like to be a tourist inside one's own world.

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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