Director: Samuel Maoz
Screenwriters: Samuel Maoz

Institute History

  • 2018 Sundance Film Festival


Samuel Maoz follows his striking debut feature, Lebanon, with the brilliant, wildly inventive Foxtrot, which won the Silver Lion at the Venice International Film Festival on its way to eight Israeli Ophir Awards, including best film.

It begins with the anguish of an Israeli couple, Michael and Dafna, informed that their son has been killed in the line of duty, but then veers sharply to arrive at the remote desert checkpoint where he was deployed. The tiny contingent of soldiers stationed there check IDs, lift the gate for passersby, and sleep in a shipping container that lists heavily to one side. The tedium is broken only by the occasional passing camel—until a dramatic turn of events.

With bold, imaginative storytelling, Foxtrot employs a triptych structure that returns poignantly to Michael and Dafna and also includes a dance number, an animated sequence, and an uneasy blend of drama, emotion, irony, and wry humor. Where Maoz’s Lebanon contemplates confinement to a tank, Foxtrot examines humans confined to a fatalistic universe that—like the soldiers’ listing barracks—is ontologically off-balance, necessitating these absurd mechanisms of coping.

— J.N.

Screening Details

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