Zero Motivation


In a far-off military base in the Israeli desert, a group of female clerks sit in the adjutancy office, bored out of their minds. For many Israeli girls, the two-year mandatory military service is spent almost entirely inside a gray, gloomy office. Despite being practically unemployed and forced to follow an absurd set of rules, they still manage to have their share of torrid drama and adrenaline levels that would put any combat soldier to shame. Zero Motivation follows three young women as they deal with the power struggles and interpersonal politics of service in the army.

Daffi, a naïve and frail clerk, hates the seclusion of the desert and dreams of transferring to a Tel Aviv base. She is the sole friend to Zohar, a cynical and apathetic clerk who spends her days trying to break her record playing Minesweeper. For Rama, their highly-motivated commander, the two girls are a source of constant frustration; they either refuse or are incapable of becoming cogs in the well-oiled machine of Rama's vision for the adjutancy staff.

When there is a new arrival at the base, Daffi assumes her wish for a transfer has finally been granted and the girl has come to take her place. She immediately begins training her, but the substitute has a different agenda, which leads to a dramatic chain of events that ultimately destroys Daffi and Zohar's friendship.

As time drags on, Zohar is gravely concerned about losing her virginity before she turns 19. After dating two men from the base simultaneously with disastrous results, Zohar finds a new potential deflowerer that she hopes will solve her problem. But when one of her fellow clerks is seemingly possessed by the spirit of a romantically spurned former colleague, Zohar's hopes are dashed again.

Eventually, Rama is released from the army against her wishes, losing her status and landing in a world without rank. She struggles to adjust to the common Israeli experience of having to re-integrate into the civilian world after military service. Meanwhile, back at the base, violent power struggles arise between Zohar and the surprising new commanding officer.

Zero Motivation uses the army platform in order to tell a story of youth, female friendship, and finding one's identity. The monotony of the isolated military base offers the women little relief from the confusing and intimidating time they are facing in their lives, and they are each challenged to make difficult choices about the paths their lives will ultimately follow.


As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email archives[email protected]