Combustible Celluloid
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With: Guy Amir, Noach Faran, Shai Gani, Keren Gitai, Liat Glick Levo, Yoram Hattab, Ran Kauchinsky, Uri Ran Klauzner, Liron Levo, Kobi Livine, Juliano Merr, Pini Mittleman, Tomer Russo
Written by: Amos Gitai, Marie-Jose Sanselme
Directed by: Amos Gitai
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Hebrew with English subtitles
Running Time: 123
Date: 05/17/2000

Kippur (2001)

4 Stars (out of 4)

The Big Battle

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The newest film by master Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai (Kadosh) is based on his own experiences as a member of a helicopter rescue unit during Syria's 1973 invasion of Israel. Kippur manages to be personal without resorting to voice-overs or cutesy gimmicks, and manages to be unsettling without being confusing. The action begins as Weinraub (Liron Levo) drives with a friend to the front to join the army, and gets stuck in a horrible traffic jam caused by a nearby battle. The camera films continuously from the back seat of the car, capturing everything. Later, in a harrowing -- if astonishingly simple -- sequence, Weinraub and his comrades attempt to rescue a fallen soldier from a slippery mud field, and none of them has the strength to stay upright; they keep slipping and dropping their rescuee. Many have complained about the film's opening and closing scenes, which show Weinraub and a female lover covered in various colors of paint while making love, but the scenes offer notions of freedom and artistry that raise the film above the mere "war movie" genre. A near-masterpiece.

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