Winner of the Golden Lion award at the 2009 Venice Film Festival; 'Lebanon' was met with extraordinary reviews from critics and jury members alike. For a simple story, one set almost entirely inside a tank, 'Lebanon' is one built around superb performances from the four crew members, centred deep within the Israeli war. It's incredibly rare these days to find a film that focuses mainly on character development. However, when it's done right, as it is in 'Lebanon', it can make a film much more effect and profound. Samuel Maoz clearly knows his information, managing to, somewhat forcefully, express what being on the front line is like for anyone deep in the heart of a war. It's a story that challenges all cinematic rules that have been put in place, forcing the viewers to engage with these four central leads, however uncomfortable that may be. It takes you as far into war as you'd want to be, making you feel everything the characters are feeling, coming away when the film eventually draws to a close. 'Lebanon' was certainly an arrestingly tense affair, but one done with beauty, it's hard not to engage with. The visuals are spot-on, making it feel authentic in it's portrayal of a gritty, intense world some of us are completely oblivious to. It's truly magnificent to be able to make a film like this one, one that challenges, and forces the viewers to battle with their emotions in order to find the heart within the picture. Astonishing.
'Lebanon' was a visually overpowering and arrestingly tense piece of cinematic flare. Samuel Maoz bestows a fascinating focus on narrative and character development. Intensely beautiful.