The Invisible Policeman is a documentary following a Palestinian police lieutenant who lives an extreme paradoxical life. He is eitheTr a figure of authority that provides people with much-needed security or a father of nine children, but not the two simultaneously.
A rare case where a man provides what he lacks and struggles to live a normal life, paying endless efforts to live with his family a normal life while coping with daily pressures and manipulative mind games. A case where someone's determination and belief are seen as a form of insanity by some.
NIDAL aka “Abu Sa’eed” is a 41-years-old father of nine children. He works as a policeman at the Palestinian National Authority Police Department in Hebron, and lives in the Israeli-controlled and disputed old city of Hebron, where Palestinians do not have control over the security but rather mere and limited civil administration exercised by the Hebron Municipality. Thus, “Abu Sa’eed” lives a double life; a strong policeman uptown, and a helpless citizen downtown with no privileges whatsoever.
The daily confrontations between Palestinians and Jewish settlers resulted in the closure of many Palestinian shops and many families to leave their homes to more secure homes uptown. However, few families insist in staying in their homes downtown because either they cannot afford living uptown or they consider staying in the old city a form or resistance. Nidal, however, insists in living in his house downtown because of both reasons, despite the fact that his house has been burnt by settlers, his wife miscarried twice, his 13-year-old daughter, SUHAD was arrested by the Israeli military, his 19-year-old son, THA’ER was also arrested, SA’AD was suffering traumatic distress that made him hit his head against walls and floors.
Many attempts were made to evacuate Abu Sa’eed and his family, including a payoff sum of $2,000,000. He refused to abandon his house because he believes this will lead to the old city of Hebron becoming totally abandoned and left to Jewish settlers, which he considers an act of treason to his people. Instead, the film documents the birth of the tenth child for the family on 10/10/2010 at 10:10 am. A way for Nidal to show strong will to live and hope that one day the old city will have ten more Palestinian houses.
As we follow Abu Sa’eed in his daily life, he goes to attend one of many court trails for his imprisoned son Tha’er, who has been detained for two and a half months in prison. On that day Tha’er receives a sentence of two and a half months and a fine of 1,000 Shekels ($260), which means if the father manages to pay the money Tha’er will be out of prison, exactly as his mother wished earlier. The film shows the journey of Abu Sa’eed going to court, travelling to find the money to pay the fine and eventually reuniting with his son. Tha’er goes back to his house and meets his mother in a very emotional moment.
The documentary tells the story of a family through the daily life of the father. Despite the hard reality, the documentary is tries to find the light at the end of the tunnel. It looks at the family’s hopes and explores their dreams. It also raises questions about coexistence with the other and the reason behind their resilience. It explores the reality of living under constant pressure and fear for children and adults alike, especially when the father who provides security for people cannot provide it for his own family.