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Review: Lebanon

This is one filthy tank
By PETER KEOUGH  |  September 8, 2010
2.0 2.0 Stars

   

If an Israeli can help an Arab totake a leak in an ammo box, there might yet be peace in the Middle East. That's one lesson to take from Samuel Maoz's heavy-handed anti-war film about the invasion of Lebanon in 1982. Shot almost entirely from the point of view of a crew buttoned up in a tank, it seems a cross between Waltz with Bashir and The Beast, if not a video game played in the bedroom of an especially messy slob.

This is one filthy tank, and the Israeli Defense Forces, as depicted in the movie, seem a bunch of crybabies. Well, they have a hard time of it, encountering some of the more predictable of war's horrors, ironies, and clichés.

Maoz does achieve now and then a surreal, nightmarish grandeur, as with an image of an old Arab man sitting unfazed at a table next to a companion whose brains are blown out. And the claustrophobia does intensify the dehumanization, terror, and panic of battle — a mood dispelled when the propaganda gets too obvious.

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