“Lebanon” – another Israeli movie headed for the Oscars?

After the great Israeli movies that have hit the screens over the last few years (including Beaufort and Waltz with Bashir, each of which has gone on to glory or near-glory at Cannes and even the Oscars), it’s time for yet another cracking war film based on a true story…

Lebanon, another film about the 1982 war in, er, Lebanon, and another story told through a soldier’s personal experiences (as per Waltz with Bashir but this time without the animation) won first prize at the Venice Film Festival yesterday. The festival jury included legendary director Ang Lee, so there’s some real credibility behind this award.

Lebanon looks like another great movie, full of drama, war and plenty of action. Although the movie itself is an anti-war movie, the story revolves around a tank crew in Lebanon, told through the eyes of Shmulik (the director Samuel Maoz). Much of the story is told within the confines of the tank itself, as the crew, who previously don’t know each other, have to bond and become a team under very trying circumstances.

It’s already getting some amazing reviews: the New York Times called Lebanon “an astonishing piece of cinema” while Variety described the film as the boldest and best of the recent wave of Israeli movies.

I’m not sure if it’s the boldest and best Israeli movie of recent times, but I’m really looking forward to this one, if the trailer is anything to go by (see below – currently only available in Hebrew but when a sub-titled version hits YouTube I will post it here)…


  1. k

    September 13, 2009 at 9:58 am

    It’s nice to see Israeli cinema be so successful in recent years, but it is unfortunate that only the anti-Israel war movies are doing well.

    I think that most Israelis would like to see a great non-political movie do well overseas, but I doubt that would ever happen.

  2. Ashley

    September 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

    How about this one from 3 or so years ago – The Band’s Visit. Was internationally acclaimed.

    And not an Uzi in sight.

  3. Abu Firas

    April 28, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I will watch this film out of curiosity. I saw the director Samuel Moaz on the BBC this morning but unfortunately his English was not good enough to explain what was the motive behind the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in 1982 which left over 70.000 Lebanese and Palestinians mostly civilians dead. Most people in the US in particular have the completely wrong picture of the conflict between the Israelis and the Arabs. For some peculiar reason they seem to think that Israel is the victim when in fact Israel is very much the bully and aggressor in the Middle East.

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