Monday, June 1, 2015

BEAUFORT is a Bummer

Even though it features Ohad Knoller of YOSSI AND JAGGER and THE BUBBLE and Itay Tiran from FORGIVENESS and THE PROMISE, BEAUFORT (dir. Joseph Cedar, 2007) is a dud, a pale imitator of its self-confessed inspirations, DAS BOOT and PATHS OF GLORY.  What's more, it seems the film makers were involved in some clever hasbara and were able to get another film, THE BAND'S VISIT, disqualified from the Oscars.
The film follows several IDF troops as the putter around the historic Beaufort Castle in Lebanon and wax poetic while awaiting final orders to evacuate the post and blow the entire thing to smithereens at the time of Israel's disengagement from South Lebanon in 2000.  The boredom is punctuated by occasional shells that are dropped on the fort by Hezbollah throughout the day, resulting in the death of several troops.  What makes this film so problematic is this very issue, the anonymity of the bombings.  There is absolutely no context for why a bunch of pesky Lebanese would want to shell an occupier's fort with regularity.  Instead, the anonymous barbarians kill off the peace-loving, introspective (and notably white) vanguard protectors of all that is decent in the world with relative ease.

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