Foxtrot — screening of a film with Russian captions «Israel. Cinema in Details»

Actually, the film «Foxtrot» is a film about fate, about family, about love and the will of chance, about the fact that it is not for us to decide what is good and what is bad. This is decided for us. Therefore, the debate about whether this film is good or bad is meaningless enough. This is also solved without us.

So it was decided in Venice, where recently the director of «Foxtrot» Shmulik Maoz received the main prize of the jury of the 74th film festival. And before that, in 2009, he was in the same place — in Venice — awarded the «Golden Lion» for his debut tape «Lebanon». A unique precedent in world cinema and the unique voice of Shmulik Maoz.

In mid-September, Foxtrot received 8 Ophir awards — an analogue of the Israeli Oscar (best film, best director, best actor, etc.) and, accordingly, will represent Israeli cinema in the fight for the American Oscar.

It is pointless to describe this film — try to describe a series of pictures, each of which is beautiful, filled with light and colors, unusual in perspective, full of many details, each of which has its own function and role. Such is the Foxtrot, a film reminiscent of painting. Film is a book, film is a three-chapter narrative, whimsical and aloof. The film is not about the army, as those who have not watched it believe, but about the fact that each of our actions has two options for development — bad and good, and no one ever knows which of the two options will be played out in the next second. Is this film critical? Does it condemn anything? Is that human stupidity, but it is not tied to either place or time. Is this film politicized? — no more than any Israeli tape. After all, love, war and politics are our reality.

This film is like a soul wide open, a film about the inevitability of fate, about the human in people. The film is as beautiful as the art of the Renaissance. Every frame is a picture, every movement is irrevocable, every word is an alarm, and they are almost whispered. Each actor — lives in the tape, the music of the film does not leave — sounds in the re-scrolling in the imagination, and all together — a very wise, very necessary magic of cinema. About such a simple thing — about life and chance.

Can you imagine that your child is dead, killed? Your former life is over and its direction is changing. Can you imagine that after a few hours it turns out that this is a mistake and your son is alive? Will life return to its former rut or not? Can you imagine what it would be like to live with an unspoken burden — with an untold story, with lies, with things that have been driven inside for many years? With the feeling that someone is always to blame for someone? You can imagine what it would be like to love without memory and be responsible for the most beautiful woman — yours. You can imagine how to show it all, to play it, to present it in a film that has become a sensation absolutely deservedly.

If they were still releasing reels of films — old massive reels in metal round boxes, I would definitely buy such a reel with the film «Foxtrot»: so that it would lie at home, reminding of what one of the boy soldiers in film: «Everything you see here is all an illusion.» The illusion of foxtrot in the fog, the slowness of a camel floating across the desert, the mud sucking in discipline, good and bad deeds, the illusion of a bulldozer from comics, slanting rain, his and her waltz, a dance of tears. This does not happen in life. It’s a pity: despite all the tragedy of «Foxtrot», if it were so — there would be more happiness.

Shmulik Maoz’s Foxtrot proved that Maoz is one of the most powerful directors of our day. And this despite the fact that 55-year-old Maoz shot only two tapes. And he is the first Israeli to win top prizes at the world’s most important film festival. His film is absolutely universal, because this film is a metaphor about the dispassionate and unforgiving mechanisms of fate that control a person’s actions without his knowledge. And this film is a drama. The drama has three parts. Behind each part is a family story, a biblical parable. And once a parable — that is, in these stories and blood. This is a triptych about loss and sorrow, but at the same time it is so piercing that you can resign yourself to its sadness.

The part of the film that caused such fierce controversy among the Israelis is not perceived as reality: it is a metaphor, an allusion to emptiness, to worthlessness, in the end, to the entire absurdity of our life. It is a mixture of farce and discomfort. Foxtrot here is army call signs. But Maoz does not point a finger at anyone, does not hang labels, does not try to say that someone is to blame. He’s just talking about hope — otherwise, why dance? «Where is this world heading?» — asks Shmulik Maoz, watching, together with young soldiers, a rolling can of army stew — faster and faster every day — in a surrealistic hiding place, a metal container somewhere out there, near some border. where humiliation of both sides is part of the game. Why all this if we do not understand where we are going?

Extreme close-ups, intimate shooting, immediacy of theatrical performance, expressionist palette of the desert, cold tones of elegant melancholic interiors. This is how the dance of sorrow is danced in these interiors: «One step forward, one step to the side, backward and sideways — wherever you go, you will always find yourself in the starting point again» — says the hero of the film Michael. Shmulik Maoz’s film is an attempt to move from this point.

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