Great movie - Maoz is a talent
What a brilliant movie. Samuel Maoz has created a gem. As with his previous feature 'Lebanon', this movie is a political statement - this time about Israel and its’ perpetual state of war, and the fatigue and distress this places on a nation.
Lior Ashkenazi plays Michael - a father grieving for his son, and his performance is nothing short of mesmerizing. The way his facial mannerisms capture anguish and anxiety is just unreal.
The film is split into three distinct acts, all of which focus on the characters being trapped in some way, which is the whole point of the film - a nation is trapped and repeating the same mistakes over and over…….the futility of conflict. This is achieved by Giora Bejach's stunning cinematography, which includes overhead shots of mosaic floors, wide angled desert vistas, and cars lit up in spotlights. The movie is worth watching just for the way it looks. But there is also substance to back up the style.
I can’t recall too much music in the film – Maoz’ filmmaking just lets dialogue – (and also at some points the lack of dialogue) do the talking as it were, save for some moments describing the very title of the movie, and why it’s called what it’s called. The all round result is a movie which is so brilliantly crafted in every way that the 1h53m running time flies by.
The film was seen as controversial in Maoz’ homeland of Israel due to its apparent criticism of Israeli military forces. Maoz thankfully doesn’t seem to care. I can’t wait to see what he does next.