An Israeli family wrestles with loss as soldiers at a remote checkpoint battle ennui in this daring, visionary tragidrama from the director of Lebanon. Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s Grand Jury Prize.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2018
An unsettling vision of military service pervading everyday Israeli life, Samuel Maoz’s (Lebanon) visceral and startlingly unpredicable film centres on a Tel Aviv couple coping with the death of their son, a soldier stationed in the middle of nowhere.
“Maoz’s marvelous, harrowing drama about death and life in Israel marches boldly through the no-man’s-land between realism and surrealism. It’s a prize collection of paradoxes, combining an intimate, eviscerating depiction of parental grief over a serviceman’s death with an empathic, absurdist rendering of young Israeli Defence Force soldiers manning a remote and otherworldly roadblock…
Foxtrot carries the excitement and punch of a fearless writer-director tackling contemporary material with a bracing cocktail of potent traditional drama, wild black comedy, and serrated style. [It all] comes together as a complex plea for honesty, openness, frankness, and forgiveness. The movie is also, incidentally, a spectacularly effective antiwar film, focusing on the randomness and cruelty of life lived on military roads... Its final image registers like a blow to the chest. It’s a shot that should be seen around the world.” — Michael Sragow, Film Comment
“A formally gorgeous piece of work… [Foxtrot] contains some of the most striking, memorable imagery of the year… It’s a film designed to move you with its depiction of senseless tragedy but also to spark that part of your thinking process that only moviemaking can tap… This multi-talented filmmaker has taken that darkness and turned it into something unforgettable for everyone who sees it.” — Brian Tallerico, RogerEbert.com