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Not everyone is born to be a soldier. Not even in Israel, where universal conscription is the tradition. This movie is about a Sad Sack in the Israeli army, incompetent to complete training and yet incompetent to extricate himself. Written by
Oddly, the dramatic leads Moni Moshonov and Gidi Gov would go on to fame as jokesters on television. Director Ne'eman, who points out the sorrier side of army life, would go off the deep end-- notably in _Streets of Yesterday_-- as an opponent of any strong Israeli defense posture. But for this particular movie, everything worked. The humor, such as it is, is dark and restrained. The anti-militarism is not muddied by anti-Zionism. The only particularly weak point is that the writers, to get some necessary dialog into the script, need to resort to a drunk scene.
Maybe the film's top moment is when the commander comes to praise the misfit soldier to his parents and in contrast to the commander's expectations they are merely and mutely puzzled by his description.
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