Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Lebanon

IL/FR/GB (c) 2009 Ariel Films [total six production companies]. P: Anat Bikel etc. D+SC: Samuel Maoz. DP: Giora Bejach - shot on Super 16 mm (Kodak Vision2 200T 7217) and Redcode RAW - camera: Arriflex 16 SR3 Evolution, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses, Red One Camera, Zeiss Ultra Prime Lenses - source format Redcode RAW (4K) - master format: Digital Intermediate (2K) - laboratory: CinePostproduction Geyer Berlin, Germany - printed film format 35 mm (Kodak Vision 2383) - 1,85:1. M: Nicolas Becker, Benoît Delbecq. S: Alex Claude, David Lis, Oded Ringerl. ED: Arik Leibovitch. CAST: Yoav Donat (Shmulik), Michael Moshonov (Yigal), Oshri Cohen (Herzl), Itay Taran (Assi). 94 min. An Atlantic Film print with English subtitles by Joanna Maoz. In the presence of Samuel Maoz. Viewed in Cinema Lapinsuu, Sodankylä (Midnight Sun Film Festival), 16 June 2010.

Digital look, which is not annoying except in the opening and closing images of sunflowers, which look like plastic.

Samuel Maoz tells his personal story as a tank soldier in the Lebanon War of 1982 when Israel invaded Lebanon to stop PLO attacks from that country. The concept is strong: we only see inside the tank or from the tank. This gives the film a unique visuality from the soldier's perspective: the chaos, the madness, the fragmentation, the shocking details. This is a film based on close-ups, extreme close-ups and the limited information of the gunsight. Bolder than Samuel Fuller's films like The Steel Helmet and similar in approach to Wolfgang Petersen's Das Boot. Like in Petersen's film, the sound design is excellent, conveying powerfully the circumstances that remain invisible.

In the discussion, Samuel Maoz stated that this film is true, only the actual war was worse. Although co-financed by Israeli funds there was no political pressure, as Israel is a free country. Maoz commented on the generational differences in Israel: the immigrant generations had no hesitations about the Lebanon War, but younger generations thought differently.

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