Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Samual Maoz, Israel, 2009 (8.6*)
Golden Lion Award, Venice
Riveting war film follows an Israeli tank that is lost inside Lebanon and separated from the rest of its division during their first war in the early 80's. It's been described as the 'Das Boot' of tank films but it's a lot shorter at around only 100 minutes, and also lacks the epic scope of that submarine film.

It is however, eerily realistic for the trapped and claustrophobic environment of a tank crew lost and without support inside a hostile country, when you don't get out of the tank for any reason, nor do you sit still in any location for very long. The only view of the outside is through circular viewscopes, all attached to guns, so the only thing that can be seen is what you're aiming at, there is no peripheral or panoramic view available.

They're not entirely alone as they are joined for awhile by an infantry squad, but there is obvious friction between those inside and outside the tank, and those inside don't always trust decisions made on the outside, which adds to the helpless feeling of being trapped in the tank.

This film belongs in all lists of must-see war films as it presents a unique view of modern war, and also covers an aspect of a war rarely covered by any films. Winner of 10 awards overall, most for its excellent cinematography


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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