Stars: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonathan Shiray, Shira Haas
This tonally audacious anti-war triptych from Israeli writer-director Samul Moaz was inspired by his experiences in the army. The first part is a harrowing depiction of grief as Tel Aviv husband and wife Michael (Ashkenazi) and Dafna (Adler) receive a visit from well-meaning but inept army representatives who inform them their son has been killed. The second, strongest and mildly absurdist segment, chronicles the experiences of Jonathan (Shiray), one of four young soldiers manning a remote makeshift checkpoint, endeavouring to stave off boredom, and occasionally stopping traversing Arabs and wearily subjecting them to humiliating checks. The final part catches up with the bereaved parents six months after the news. Avoiding didacticism Maoz has fashioned a protest film that effectively illustrates the pointlessness and futility of the conflict, while acknowledging the heavy hand of history. The impressive photography throws up some indelible images: a soldier dancing with his rifle in front of a faded mural, and in the film’s most memorably surreal moment, we view an almost abstract green-hued close-up of the circuits of an army radio, while serenaded by the kitschy Wurlitzer organ-driven stylings of Renzo Cesana’s ‘Walk the Lonesome Night’.