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BEAUFORT tells the story of LIRAZ LIBERTI, the 22 year-old outpost commander, and his troops in the months before Israel pulled out of Lebanon. This is not a story of war, but of retreat. This is a story with no enemy, only an amorphous entity that drops bombs from the skies while terrified young soldiers must find a way to carry out their mission until their very last minutes on that mountaintop. As LIRAZ lays the explosives which would destroy that very same structure that his friends had died defending, he witnesses the collapse of all he's been taught as an officer, and his soldier's mental and physical disintegration. Written by
Beaufort, Israeli genius at the International Film Festival 2007
This film has just been aired on the Copenhagen International Film Festival and of all the Israeli films available, this was the one I was
not - going to see, and yet I did.
It is still only a few days, since I saw it, but the images return and the sheer originality in terms of being a 'war movie' coupled with the usual Jewish genius of making a point: in short comment, dry humor, body language, tone of voice, well chosen repetition i.e. the monotonous, almost dead, tone over a loudspeaker from the lookouts stationed to warn against 'incoming, incoming' missiles, which after explosion were commented on by,'impact, impact'.
After the third or fourth of these 'scenes' I suddenly felt a wave of claustrophobia and fear, which these young Israeli soldiers must have felt being stuck on a mountain top, without a visual enemy, and only lookouts to rely on for their own lives and safety, 'incoming, incoming' - crash, bang -'impact, impact' - it was unnerving.
This film is a must for anyone - also those who like me, are not war buffs, because it is not about war. It is about a lot of things. Reality, how to handle anxiety, frustration, loss, grief, in a tight and stuck environment, with no relief in sight, (Israel itself?) It is about individuality in terms of different personalities, backgrounds, political opinions who have to make it work and who do in their own humorous, gentle, aggressive, accepting way. It is about men and a male attitude which I have not witnessed for over thirty years,(and sorely missed); the honesty and humanity of men, and it is about exile.
The one lifeline to the home country; a dirt road, has been blocked by a strange explosive device for about a month, and this is where the film starts, with the bomb squad arriving at the outpost, to identify and disarm the device, so that the outpost can receive supplies once again...and a whole 'different' story is touched upon.
I could go on for hours about this film, and not in a very logical way, since all the 'points' haven't been connected yet, it has so many layers. This what I call genius - 'layering' and this is what I look for in Israeli film and this year it was Beaufort, who delivered. Go and see it.
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