Michael and Dafna are devastated when Army officials show up at their home to announce the death of their son Jonathan. While his sedated wife rests, Michael spirals into a whirlwind of anger only to experience one of life's unfathomable twists, which rival the surreal military experiences of his son.Written by
'Foxtrot' begins with a woman, Dafna (Sarah Adler), opening her front door, seeing who is on the doorstep and immediately fainting. Moments later her husband Michael (Lior Ashkenazi, possibly Israel's busiest actor) is told by three members of the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) that his and Dafna's son Jonathan has been killed on military service. The IDF take over everything, arranging the funeral, dispensing sedatives to Dafna and setting alarms on Michael's telephone to remind him to drink every hour. Then the scene shifts and we are at Jonathan's lonely desert outpost, where the soldiers - when not sleeping and eating in a slowly-sinking shipping container - man a grubby checkpoint used most regularly by an unaccompanied camel. A final scene change brings us back to Dafna and Michael on what would have been Jonathan's twentieth birthday.
I found the middle and final segments the most interesting: although not a lot happens at the checkpoint, the segment set there is an interesting study on how boys from comfortable middle-class backgrounds cope when handed guns and forced to live in squalor. The bereaved parents' conversation in the third segment, in which we see how their loss has affected their relationship, is terribly bittersweet. By contrast, the first segment has a curiously episodic feel to it that may be intended to convey how Michael stumbles through the hours immediately after learning of his son's death, but I found rather jarring. On the whole, though, this slow-moving film is well worth watching.
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