01 October 2009

NYFF09 Review: Lebanon

Lebanon by Samuel Maoz

Lebanon takes the epic scope and emotional range of the war film and condenses it down and confines it to the claustrophobic interior of a tank. From the first moment Shmulik, the tank’s green gunner, drops into the tank he is stuck there, and we are stuck there with him, experiencing the horrific war with the young soldiers through their limited view inside the tank. Samuel Moaz’s thrilling and absolutely nerve-racking film cinematically recreates the experience of being at war, highlighting the visceral images and sounds that evoke direct emotional responses rather than concerning itself with details of plot or character. As such, Lebanon is a completely powerful film and, above all, an intense cinematic experience.

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