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Foxtrot (2017)

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A troubled family must face the facts when something goes terribly wrong at their son's desolate military post.

Director:

Samuel Maoz

Writer:

Samuel Maoz
19 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Lior Ashkenazi ... Michael Feldman
Sarah Adler ... Daphna Feldman
Yonaton Shiray ... Jonathan (as Yonathan Shiray)
Shira Haas ... Alma
Eden Gamliel Eden Gamliel ... Maria
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dekel Adin Dekel Adin ... Squad
Yehuda Almagor Yehuda Almagor ... Avigdor - Michael's Brother
Shaul Amir Shaul Amir ... Squad
Gefen Barkai ... Squad
Ran Buxenbaum Ran Buxenbaum ... Squad B
Rami Buzaglo Rami Buzaglo ... Driver of the toy van
Eden Daniel Eden Daniel ... A boy in the back seat
Yael Eisenberg ... Female Soldier
Itay Exlroad Itay Exlroad ... Dancing Soldier
Eden Gmliel Eden Gmliel ... A girl in the back seat
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Storyline

A troubled family must face the facts when something goes terribly wrong at their son's desolate military post.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

rated R for some sexual content including graphic images, and brief drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Israel | Switzerland | Germany | France

Language:

Hebrew | German

Release Date:

21 September 2017 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Foxtrot See more »

Filming Locations:

Tel Aviv, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$31,629, 4 March 2018

Gross USA:

$618,883

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,356,159
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

It won the Ophir Award for Best Film, therefore becoming the Israeli entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 90th Academy Awards. Later in the year, it made the December shortlist, but ultimately did not receive a nomination. See more »

Soundtracks

Rock'n'roll
Performed by Betzefer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
a riveting essay on the absurdism of war
4 October 2018 | by CineMuseFilmsSee all my reviews

The theme 'war is absurd' has become a cliché that tests the creativity of many a filmmaker. How many ways can you represent the random chaos of shattered lives and senseless destruction? The emotional rollercoaster Foxtrot (2017) hits the high-watermark in originality for the way it deploys grief, social critique, and absurdism to show a different side of war.

The film's four acts defy the conventions of linear storytelling. In the opening seconds, a mother (Sara Adler) sees three soldiers at the door and before they can speak she collapses to the ground. With military precision, the doctor among them administers sedation and tells the father (Lior Askhkenazi) she will sleep for five hours; that's usual, they say. When a son has fallen in the line of duty they expect the father to cope. They leave; another comes to plan just another funeral; then alone, the father furiously paces like a caged beast, crushed by his own emotions. In five hours they return with totally different news.

That plotline alone could fill a movie, but it is merely the first step of an absurdist dance with chaos that goes forward, across, back, then returns to the beginning. In the second act we meet the very much alive son Jonathan (Yonaton Shiray) who is stationed on an isolated checkpoint where the only intruders are camels that have trained the guards to open the boom-gate to let them pass. Bored out of their minds, the four teenage warriors tell each other stories, punctuated by Jonathan's memorable foxtrot dance with his rifle as partner. The third and final acts complete this case study of random chaos; they include a scene one year later where the mother and father commiserate a tragedy and a dissolving marriage. The final seconds of the film match the opening in the way they erupt with the unexpected.

Undoubtedly, this film is anchored by the first 45 minutes in which Lior Askhkenazi gives a tour-de-force performance of going to hell and back. It is also a forensic satire that is beyond war clichés and that has infuriated the Israeli Military establishment. So much is being said in this film, with so few words spent. Small moments are jarring: like a father being told casually that his fallen son was promoted posthumously, as if he is worth more dead than alive, or the mechanically detailed way the military deals with death and bereavement. The camerawork and colour palette superbly set the mood of each act, and the asymmetry of the narrative reflects an alternative and absurdist universe in which war is normalised.

This is powerful cinema, the kind that can sweep you up with its characters, emotions, and story. Then, at the end of the film when the dance is done, you are left in disbelief at the banality of humanity. Watch for Foxtrotin Best Foreign Film award.


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