- Running time:
- 93 minutes
- Yoav Donat -
- Itay Tiran -
- Oshri Cohen -
- Michael Moshonov -
- Zohar Strauss -
Four young Israeli soldiers set out in a tank on the first day of 1982’s Lebanon war. The region they enter has already been decimated by the air force, and none of the men are prepared for the horrors they’ll face.
The buzz: Writer-director Samuel Moaz drew from his own experiences as a 20-year-old Israeli soldier during the Lebanon war to create the film. It won a Golden Lion, the top prize, at last year’s Venice film festival, becoming the first Israeli film to win that honor.
The verdict: Lean, focused and unmistakably from the heart, “Lebanon” proves more gripping and direct than the celebrated and similarly-themed “Waltz with Bashir.” All of the drama unfolds within the tank—the outside world is glimpsed only through the view-finder—amplifying the claustrophobic vibe that connects viewers with the soldiers. This isn’t simply a portrait of soldiers at work, it’s a sense memory nightmare of what it’s like to plunge head-on into chaos. What the film lacks in narrative structure and character development it more than makes up for in gritty verisimilitude. You don’t feel like you’re watching “Lebanon,” you feel like you’re living it.
Did you know? Although Moaz’s experiences in war occurred in 1982, it took him 25 years to sit down and write this film. He began in 2007 after a year full of professional disappointments.
Movie theaters and showtimes for Lebanon in Louisville.
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