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LEBANON

Director: SAMUEL MAOZ

93 minutes| Israel-France-Lebanon-Germany| 2009| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema


IFI IRISH SHORTS
This screening includes Teemu Auersalo’s IFB-funded animation Trolley Boy about a monster created as the result of a young man’s frustration with his work. 4 minutes.

Winner of the Golden Lion at last year’s Venice Film Festival, this nerve-shredding Israeli drama takes its place alongside The Hurt Locker and Waltz with Bashir in offering an insider’s view of modern warfare. Back in 1982, the film’s writer-director Samuel Maoz was a 20-year-old gunner in an Armoured Corps tank, and what we see here sprang from painful memories of his small part in the invasion of Lebanon. With almost every scene taking place inside the cramped four-man tank or viewed through the crosshairs on its gun sight, the result is vividly claustrophobic, with remarkable sound design recreating brain-rattling engine roar and the blast of weaponry. As the heat intensifies and the mission veers off track, tempers understandably fray, while the task of pulling the trigger on actual human targets carries an almost unbearable weight. Maoz’s stance certainly isn’t neutral, but its very authenticity gives credence to its statement on the awful responsibility of turning political decisions into bloody reality. (Notes by Trevor Johnston)

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