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