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Beaufort
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Beaufort – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Beaufort is named after a Lebanese fortress that was built by the Crusaders in the 11 century. It’s the highest point in southern Lebanon and overlooks northern Israel, hence the PLO took it over in the seventies. In 1982, Israel occupied the fortress from the Palestinians and stayed there until 2000.
Based on an Israeli Best Selling Novel, Beafourt tells the story of a group of soldiers stationed in the fortress in the days before Israel withdrew from Lebanon in 2000.
While tantalizingly waiting for the evacuation, the soldiers cower impotently inside their bunker as frequent barrages of Hizbulla missiles slam into their base and kill a few of them.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This is a war movie about the futility of war. The soldiers are ordered by invisible leaders to fight a losing, pointless battle against an invisible enemy. But despite its noble cause, it fails to engage us emotionally and loses its momentum somewhere in the middle.
The soldiers are mostly idle, chatting about their feelings, fears and dreams until the outlooker shouts “INCOMING”, which is followed by a frenzy of activity, mostly running into the protective bunker. Sometimes, a soldier or two are killed and then we see the surviving troops coming to terms with that. This cycle is repeated again and again to a point where you wish to see the end.
Admittedly, it’s not easy to keep such a movie, where all events occur in one spot, engaging. Therefore, the director inserts a classic hero into the story, the commander of the unit, a young gun-ho officer, who starts with unwavering confidence and conviction in his mission and later becomes doubtful and hesitant. But this goes on for too long and, in the mean time, we lose interest.
This movie was Israel’s entry into the Oscars 2008 and made it into the nominations list for the coveted award.

Opens Nationwide 28 March 2008

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