An unapologetically political film, with popular jocks as elite government military man, beta males as hapless revolutionaries, and the rich as contemptuous stooges. These caricatures curiously reflect both the Left and the Right's views of each other in Israel. The film takes place in isolation to everything except each group of character's world view, and has a nightmarish inevitability to the plot.
Here's something I haven't seen in quite a while: a directorial debut feature-length that feels dangerous, to itself and to its own country - no wonder the Israel government hates him! But it's also a movie that looks at its characters on both ends of the spectrum with honesty and equal footing, and not whatever pretentious wish-fulfillment and cynicism that gets passed as political cinema these days.
Not particularly impressed. Fine performances all around but there's a coldness of direction that fails to take us beneath the surface. The motives of the "terrorists" are murky to say the least. Other than the Yiftach Klein character the rest are either placeholders or so lightly sketched as to barely exist.
Life and death are at th heart of Lapid's film, and he creates a mise en scene of passion and heartbreak in a country where danger is always a shadowy presence. Life for the policeman's pregnant wife contrasts with the death meted out on the job. The young terrorists share passion for a good cause but want to murder the rich. The facial closeups explain a lot about Israeli life in this bold, gut-punching film.
A strange mix that never quite excels in this dual tale concerning an elite cop squad and an unlikely Israeli terrorist group of privileged kids. The first half is the interesting one with a near homo-erotic edge in the comradeship of the officers as they band together facing charges from a previous mission. The second drags the film down with an unfocused amateurish script. By the end any interest is long gone.
Staggeringly well-made film. The collaboration here between Lapid and DP Goldman reminds me of that between the greatest working team in contemporary cinema, Claire Denis and Agnès Godard, and NOBODY EVER reminds me of them - what they do is superlative. In fact, the early attention to the homosocial domain of male police officers explicitly invokes Beau Travail. And things get WAY more profound than I was expecting
In some respects this is not a sophisticated film. Some of the writing, and performances, are too obvious, and can lack nuance altogether. I almost didn't get through it. However, it finds redemption through the sheer power of the subject matter and its portrayal. Worth watching.
"Zero Motivation" "Gett" "Youth" "Why hast thou forsaken me?"....I love young israeli filmmakers, love their unique and scathing skill to criticize own country. So finally, I watched Nadav Lapid film and very shocked. Horrifyingly matter-of-fact, deeply critical movie about crash between love-my-countrys and hate-my-countrys. SO SUPERB.