(No longer in theaters)
Jan 18, 2008
Like Letters From Iwo Jima, the Israeli drama Beaufort dwells on the futility of war at the expense of a larger political context. It works. The film is set in and around the southern-Lebanon fortress (the name means “Beautiful Fort”) held by Israelis for eighteen years and in its final years frequently—and lethally—shelled by Hezbollah. The young Israeli men don’t look much like hardened soldiers and have no idea what they’re doing that far into Lebanon. But every once in a while one of them gets blown up—usually just after announcing plans for his future. The score is Eno-ambient—sad and creepy. You never see any Hezbollah fighters. It’s hard to breathe as the men wait for the final evacuation. Pro-war audiences on both sides will find Joseph Cedar’s vision irresponsible. I think Beaufort captures a higher irresponsibility.