Year: 2009
Production Co: Ariel Films
Director: Samuel Maoz
Writer: Samuel Maoz

It's a great idea for a movie, both for the production itself and for us. An Israeli tank crew are making their way across the a hostile part of Lebanon in the 1982 war and as their personal issue and as the strain of their plight wears on them, we see it all from their point of view, never leaving the tank except for glimpses of the outside through gunscopes and video feeds.

It was a great idea for the production because apart from a few ruined streetscapes it would have been a cheap way to tell a story. Not that I think they opted for such a device as a way to save money. It's an effective storytelling tool, which is why it's good for us too. Unfortunately it's let down a little by being a bit too didactic. A bit more subtlety would have helped.

The new member of the crew joins the crew, more friends than anything and with a very loose command structure (which will cause trouble in the hours to come). But he no sooner suits up when the disembodied voice of their mission commander sends them deeper into hostile territory. They both see and commit atrocities and bloodshed that weigh on their already frayed tempers, and as the no-nonsense field commander drops in and out to admonish and direct them, things don't get any better.

A good deal of the value of the film is in what you can assume is a realistic depiction of life inside a military tank, with filthy water sloshing around on the floor, grease covering everything and the guys taking turns relieving themselves in a tin they keep on a shelf.

Some arresting images like the tank sitting in a field of sunflowers give it some visual heft and it also has some historical value.

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