A middle-aged Israeli bachelor is forced to evaluate his life choices when he discovers an ex-girlfriend had given birth to his son 20 years before, in this affecting drama from writer director Savi Gabizon.
In today's Beirut, an insult blown out of proportions finds Toni, a Lebanese Christian, and Yasser, a Palestinian refugee, in court. From secret wounds to traumatic revelations, the media ... See full summary »
Kamel El Basha,
Australian western set on the Northern Territory frontier in the 1920s, where justice itself is put on trial when an aged Aboriginal farmhand shoots a white man in self defense and goes on the run as posse gathers to hunt him down.
17-year- old ASHER has always been the impulsive troublemaker, from primary school, all through junior high and high school. It's hard for him to concentrate in class, and he is compelled ... See full summary »
Neither side behaved well in the Israeli controversy over Foxtrot. The Minister of Culture condemned the movie without seeing it, and the filmmakers tried to weasel out by claiming surrealism as a form of artistic license. The film isn't surrealistic, although it's expressionistic.
The first section is the most expressionistic, packed with overhead shots that feature a weirdly patterned floor. For a while, you wonder whether master actor Lior Ashkenazi has been handed the challenge of playing his part with no lines at all as his character receives and absorbs the notification that his son has fallen in the line of duty. That turns out not to be the case, but to an extent he does remain, throughout this section, a kind of Everyman defined by his situation rather than by any specific background we're aware of.
The second section is what made the Minister of Culture grumpy. It shows a soldier making an error of split-second judgment with terrible consequences, followed by a cover-up. The accusation against the movie was that such things don't happen in the Israeli army. I was less disturbed by the soldier's error (people are people), and even by the cover-up (bureaucracies are bureaucracies) than by the coverer-up, an officer made to look like a boulder- bodied ogre. He seems to taint everyone with evil, and coincidentally or not, his appearance marks the point where the movie-- in my opinion-- loses its footing.
The first and second sections hinted at intriguing parallels between the generations, as well as a sense of recurring themes, but the third section invests in effortfully tying together what didn't need any such effort and in driving the plot forward past where it could have gracefully ended. It was a little like hearing a joke explained after you've already laughed at it, although Foxtrot certainly doesn't abound in laughs. It's a well-acted, philosophically contemplative film that just goes on for a little too long.
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