Mosco Boucault

Filmmaker Mosco Boucault was born in Bulgaria in 1946 and emigrated to France as a child in 1957. As an adult, he completed a Bachelor's degree in Literature in 1970, and went on to train with Pierre Goupil and Pierre-William Glenn at the Institut des hautes études cinématographiques in Paris.

He has lived and worked in both Japan and Italy. Boucault considers William Faulkner, the Black Series, Vassili Grossman, Patrick Modiano and Georges Simenon, John Ford, Howard Hawks, Shohei Imamura, Wim Wenders, Frédéric Wiseman, Claude Ventura, Alain Cavalier and Don Marcel Ophuls as influences to his work.

His 1983 film Terrorists in Retirement is the story of men and women from Armenia, Poland, and Romania, mostly Jews, who fought the German occupation of Paris during World War II. After its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, the film was considered too controversial to be shown on French TV when first released.

Mosco Boucault's Police Investigations series was shot between 1996 and 2002 and these three titles offer an unvarnished, raw look at police on three continents, as they investigate three very different murders — in Philadelphia, Ivory Coast, and northern France. With unparalleled access to detectives and witnesses, director Mosco Boucault crafts a series of gripping films that in some cases feel more like noir classics than documentaries. The rise of reality TV brought with it a slew of cop shows that serve as little more than police propaganda. These films take a different, more critical approach. Boucault grew up as an immigrant Jew in post-war Paris, which colored his view of policing: “For me, a policeman was the bureaucrat who, during a background check at our house, let slip his opinion that ‘these strangers come to suck the blood out of France’… The films I made alongside the police smashed my preconceptions to pieces.”

Icarus Films is proud to distribute four of Mosco Boucault's films. Discover more of our featured filmmakers.


An unflinching look at the brutal methods used by the Abidjan police chief to investigate the murder of a police officer.

Mosco Boucault | 2024 | 86 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles

Cops in Roubaix, France deal with ordinary and not-so ordinary business while trying to solve a murder.

Mosco Boucault | 2024 | 87 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles

A gripping documentary that follows two cops verité-style, while capturing the complex dynamics of a community where selling drugs is seen as the only option for many young men.

Mosco Boucault | 2024 | 90 minutes | Color | English; French | English subtitles | Closed Captioned

Too controversial to be shown on French TV when first released, this is the story of Eastern Europeans, mostly Jews, who fought the German occupation of Paris during World War II.

Mosco Boucault | 2024 | 71 minutes | Color | French | English subtitles