Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5
Israel, 2007. United King Films, Metro Communications, Movie Plus, The Yehoshua Rabinowits Foundation, Cinema Project, Keshet Broadcasting, Yes-DBD Satellite Services, CDI, Cinema Factory Production Ltd., Cinema Industry Association in Israel. Screenplay by Joseph Cedar, based on the novel Im Yesh Gan Eden by Ron Lesham. Cinematography by Ofer Inov, Asaf Sudri. Produced by David Mandil. Music by Ishai Adar. Production Design by Miguel Markin. Costume Design by Maya Mor. Film Editing by Zohar M. Sela.
Israeli soldiers are stationed at a centuries-old fort during the Lebanon war just before the country’s withdrawal from the territory. The varied group of young men, whose personalities clash more often than cleave, see little action but plenty of friction as conflict wanes but danger still abounds.
The objective is to abandon the post, but even that is fraught with complication and danger: the film begins with the disarming of what appears to be a land mine and does not get any easier from there. Tension increases as the other side remains unseen and frustration becomes the key enemy in a classy, smart and polished thriller whose only minor flaw is a collection of characters who never fully engage the audience’s sympathies.
Academy Award Nomination: Best Foreign Language Film
Berlin Film Festival Award: Best Director (Joseph Cedar)