Lebanon (2009) Film. Director : Samuel Maoz

June, 1982 – The First Lebanon War. A lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town – a simple mission that turns into a nightmare. The four members of a tank crew find themselves in a violent situation that they cannot contain. Motivated by fear and the basic instinct of survival, they desperately try not to lose themselves in the chaos of war. (Imdb)

An Israeli tank crew hits the ground hard during the 1982 invasion of Lebanon in this claustrophobic, visceral look at the Middle East conflict. Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious Golden Lion for Best Film, this Das Boot in a tank follows four luckless young men as they roll through a Lebanese town to separate civilians from the PLO, with predictably chaotic results. At first few villains, and fewer heroes, are in sight, with the only constant being the oppressive heat and sweat-laden interior of the tank. When something goes dangerously wrong, however, the situation escalates beyond all control and all reason. Joining a body of work that includes Waltz with Bashir and Beaufort, Lebanon addresses the madness of the Lebanon War through a first-person account. Writer/director Samuel Maoz was a naïve young recruit when he was sent to the same war, and his experiences there traumatized him for years afterwards. Placing viewers directly into the action, uncertain of what’s going on around them, surrounded by the noise and chaos of the outside world yet with literally no “viewpoint” out of the little box in which they find themselves, Maoz’s Lebanon creates a pointed metaphor for not just the Lebanon War but many other wars and conflicts. Alex Claude’s sound design of mechanical drones and muted explosions and a rumbling, sinister score by Nicolas Becker add to the film’s memorable, unsettling effect and turn Lebanon into a key work of an emerging Israeli new wave. —San Francisco International Film Festival

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