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

Set in Israel and focusing on an IDF (Israeli Defence Force) soldier and his family, ‘Foxtrot’ is a thought provoking and sobering film that deftly explores the political dynamics of the region and the impact this has on ordinary lives. The film is directed by Samuel Maoz and I found it to be an engrossing film that brings up complicated situations and covers all angles and points of view with nuance. It’s a slow burning, lingering film that generates power from long takes and subtle performances, successfully telling a story both personal and political in nature.

The film begins with a knock at the door, as security forces arrive to inform the Feldmann family that their son has been killed in action, only for this to be later revealed as a mix up with the dead man being another soldier with the same name. There’s a black comedic element to the way this is laid out, but the material isn’t remotely played for laughs and the anguish this causes is sold superbly by Lior Ashkenazi as Michael Feldmann, in a performance that earned him the ‘Best Actor’ award at the Ophir Awards (Israel’s version of the Oscar’s). From grief, to relief, to anger, the Feldmann’s push for their son’s return as this incident damages their faith and confidence in the security forces. The film then switches to the remote outpost where Jonathan Feldmann (Yonaton Shiray) works and we see a different side to this drama, exploring the mundanity of manning an area where encounters with civilians or fellow soldiers is minimal, and the danger this solitary existence can present when a situation does arise.

Foxtrot’ is a sharply written drama from Samuel Maoz that enters the murky political territory of Israel/Palestine but does so with a personal slant, showing the impact this has on ordinary citizens from both communities.

Rating: 4/5

Directed By: Samuel Maoz

Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Sarah Adler, Yonaton Shiray, Shira Haas, Yehuda Almagor, Karin Ugowski and Ilia Grosz

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