Close to Home (2007)
Critic Consensus: While Close to Home devotes too much time chastising military service, its female perspective is unique and refreshing.
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as Mirit's Mother
as Mirit's Father
as Mirit's rescuer
as Captain Dubek's assistant
as Head Commander
as Supper Guest
as Supper Guest
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Critic Reviews for Close to Home
While Close to Home follows a predictable path in its story, it's not without its charms, much of it down to the very believable portrayal of the young soldiers who view many of their duties with the world-weariness of terminally bored teens.
Both [main actresses] show their characters' growth while steadfastly and, sadly, unsuccessfully trying to hold on to the last vestiges of their innocence. If that's not the real tragedy of life in the Middle East, I don't know what is.
Although its location and plot points are worlds away from typical Hollywood teen-angst fare, some of its themes are undeniably universal.
The movie is awkwardly mounted and formlessly episodic as it meanders from one day to the next, finally losing itself in a forest of coming-of-age clichés.
This movie just seems like a scattered excuse to make political points without saying much of anything. Worse, it also fails to show us, with any vividness, how Mirit and Smadar think and feel as women.
Audience Reviews for Close to Home
How memorable is this movie? I watched, thinking, "I've seen this part," all the way through. Only when I got to the end, did I realize I had seen the whole thing before. The girls are lovely, but never seem to understand the seriousness of what they are doing. They are young, and innocent and just out to have a good time. They spend their days trying to dodge the inspection patrols and do just enough to stay out of trouble. The lack of any particular focus for the story makes this a forgettable film. Still. I've sat through it twice now, so it can't be all bad.
A very personal and human story detailing the acts those enlisted on military service must go through is Israel. It shows the humiliation they must inflict on others and the humiliation they feel in return, as they stop every Arab they see for Identity checks. It's perfectly understandable for all viewers in the time of a war on terror. We understand why these checks must be carried out but also the anger of those being checked. Add to ths the fact that the two main girls are just that. They giggle about crushes and lust after hats.Even the ball busting superior officer shows she is just a girl at heart by making out with boys down alleys and getting excited over sweaters. It all amplifies how these are young women doing a very difficult and admirable job. Neither really enjoys their job though one will do anything to make sure it is done whilst the other refuses to degrade herself. As their friendship grows so does their understanding of each other. It's frightful, funny and quite shocking when the reasons for such tight security are shown to us. The final scene is just perfect in tone and execution as everybody reaches emotional boiling point.
[font=Century Gothic]"Close to Home" takes place in Jerusalem, following a mini-revolt by one of the female soldiers assigned to search Palestinian women at a border crossing. One of the new recruits, Mirit(Neama Shendar), is assigned to partner with Smadar(Smadar Sayar), to check the ID's of Arab men on the streets. But Mirit is not happy with this assignment, and wants her father to use his influence to get her transferred to a post away from home.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Close to Home" is a movie with political overtones about how simple situations can often quickly get out of control. On the one hand, it explores the perpetual harrassment of Arab men in Israel who are presumed guilty of a crime before one has been committed.(One character asks: what does an Arab look like? It is a valid question.) On the other, it is about how women are employed in the Israeli army and the drudgery of the jobs they are assigned. In return, they are more interested in dodging their superiors than in performing their duties. They are only human, after all.[/font]
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