top of page

"The Policeman" @ The Cinematheque - Israeli Film Series

"The Policeman" Known as HaShoter Azoulay in Israel, the film is a cult comedy classic and often reffered to as the "Israeli Monty Python". It was made in 1971, written and directed by satirist Ephraim Kishon. The film was nominated for an Oscar in 1972 for Best Foreign Language Film, and won the Golden Globe in the same category. It won several other awards, including prizes at the Barcelona and Monte Carlo film festivals. Rafi Kishon will be speaking on behalf of his father, the late Ephraim Kishon, writer and director of The Policeman. Ephraim Kishon is an Israeli national hero and is considered somewhat as Israel's answer to Woody Allen. He was born into a Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary in 1924 as Ferenc Hoffmann, and his writing talents began early, he won first prize for writing a novel for high school students. Due to the the anti-semitic laws applied in Hungary during World War II, Ephraim was not allowed to continue his studies at the university and then, during World War II he was imprisoned in several concentration camps. At one camp his high knowledge of chess helped him survive, as the camp commandant was also a chess player. He eventually managed to escape the camps while being transported to an extermination camp in Poland, and hid the remainder of the war disguised as a Slovakian laborer. In 1949 Ephraim immigrated to Israel, to leave the Communist regime. and on arrival, it was an immigration officer who randomly changed his name from Ferenc to "Ephraim" and then he chose Kishon himself as a new surname, after the Kishon river near Haifa. A non-Hebrew speaker, he studied Hebrew at Ulpan "Etzion" in Jerusalem, and went on to become a prolific writer and satirist for newspapers as well as a film-maker- one of his earlier films Sallah Shabati was also nominated for an Oscar. Ephraim died in 2005 at his home in Switzerland at the age of 80.

bottom of page