The film takes place in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War in which Egypt and Syria launched attacks in Sinai and the Golan Heights. The story is told from the perspective of Israeli soldiers. ...
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The film takes place in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War in which Egypt and Syria launched attacks in Sinai and the Golan Heights. The story is told from the perspective of Israeli soldiers. We are led by Weinraub and his friend Ruso on a day that begins with quiet city streets, but ends with death, destruction and devastation of both body and mind. Various scenes are awash in the surreal, as Weinraub's head hangs out over a rescue helicopter's open door, watching with tranquil desperation as the earth passes beneath, the overpowering whir of the blades creating a hypnotic state. It is not a traditional blood, guts and glory film. There are no men in battle, only the rescue crew trying to pick up the broken pieces.Written by
Fiona Kelleghan <email@example.com>
The film is based on director Amos Gitai's own experience of joining a helicopter rescue crew during the war of Kippur, and his helicopter being shot down by a Syrian missile on his 23rd birthday. See more »
The Syrians did not press the Golan Heights until the Egyptians were fully engaged but the radio announcement only refers to the surprise attack by the Syrians. Moshe Dayan was already in the Sinai (he lost his eye there) when the downed helicopter pilot says he's been asked to fly him to the front. See more »
"Every minute of silence is a great treasure to me..."
Kippur (2000) Directed by Amos Gitai Starring: Liron Levo, Tomer Russo, Uri Klausner, Yoram Hattab, and Guy Amir ***1/2 out of 5 stars
Forgive me if I see the good in everything, but I believe that this Israel film, which features excruciatingly long takes and little dialogue, DOES have some deep significance. However, the long takes ARE draining, yet when you realize the purpose, it all seems to make sense.
Based on Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai's personal experiences in the Yom Kippur war in 1973, in which Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel on their holy day of Yom Kippur, "Kippur" follows a search and rescue team of four people as they travel by helicopter to different war-torn areas to find as many people alive as possible and bring them to some sort of safety and medical treatment. The film begins with two characters, Ruso (Yes, Russo) and Weinraub (Levo), who find themselves abruptly trying to get into a war. One of the characters (Ruso, I believe) is eager to get to the battlefront, proclaiming that a war has finally reached their generation and that "it is ours!". You must understand that Israel has been going through a war at least once, if not twice a decade. So, war, to the naive, inexperience individual, seems like a rite of passage.
Ruso and Weinraub, after awkwardly entering the front lines and being told to go back as shells are heard closeby, stop on the side and meet up with Gadassi (Amir), a medical officer trying to find a ride to the mission briefing. When they finally get to the battlefield to start the search and rescue, you soon find out that the film is about the death, detachment, and irrationality of war. What began as a rite of passage for the characters ended up being a strange, tortured nightmare. They go from area to area finding amputees and dead soldiers, usually unable to help all and having to leave much of the bodies on the battlefield. One torturous take follows the four characters as they try to help a soldier, who is hurt and obviously alive, out of a big field of mud. As they fall and slip, the soldier's body is thrown around, unintentionally carelessly. The frustration takes over one of the soldiers helping him as he breaks down in the middle of the mud and the doctor is going back and forth trying to calm the panicking soldier and help the injured one. When they finally make it to some other officers waiting for them to take the soldier away, he is already dead and the helplessness on the soldier's muddy faces says it all.
This film can be and will be very draining for most viewers. The long takes and the often far away framing distances ourselves from the action and you should soon learn to explore and examine what Gitai is trying to convey through the characters' stories. The film DOES build up to a briefly explosive climax, which poetically brings everything full circle for the soldiers. "Kippur" is a difficult film appropriate for its difficult subject. It is also daring, unwavering in its message, and, most importantly, truthful to the nonsense that war really is.
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