- 19 May 10
Surprise winner of the top prize at the Venice Film Festival
A surprise winner of the top prize at the Venice Film Festival, Samuel Moaz’s film dares to set itself entirely within the cramped confines of a tank. Based on the director’s own youthful experiences in the Israeli Army, Lebanon’s powerful anti-war rhetoric is often told through the vehicle’s gunsight, a device that allows for the chaos and confinement of a video game. There are four Israeli soldiers inside the overheated tank but the driver, the loader, the gunner and the commander are variously accompanied by the body of a dead comrade, a Syrian POW, a visiting superior officer, and a passing Phalangist (Christian Arab fighting on the Israeli side) who threatens the POW.
The duty of the soldiers is to use phosphorus grenades that are forbidden by international treaty by using a codeword to mask their purpose. Mostly, however, they have no clue what is happening either outside, in the tank or in their own minds. Like Waltz with Bashir, Lebanon offers a dazzling account of a terrible time.