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Lebanon (2010)

Reymond Amsalem , Ashraf Barhom , Samuel Maoz  |  R |  DVD
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)

List Price: $28.95
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Product Details

  • Actors: Reymond Amsalem, Ashraf Barhom
  • Directors: Samuel Maoz
  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
  • DVD Release Date: January 18, 2011
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y5H5II
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,275 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lebanon" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Israeli-born director and writer Samuel Maoz brings his own experience as a bewildered young soldier in the war in Lebanon in 1982 front and center in his unforgettable drama Lebanon. Maoz's visceral, deeply personal view of war is limited to the inside of a single tank, sent by Israel as part of the offensive against Lebanon. The entire view of the battle and the war experience is seen through the eyes of four young soldiers--superbly acted by Yoav Donat, Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen, and Michael Moshonov--who are confined to the tank's tiny interior. Their vision of war is limited to what they can see through the tank's small periscope--which means that at times, their "battlefield" might be a yard of chickens, or a group of young children playing with laundry flapping in the background, or, suddenly and randomly, an ambush of Lebanese soldiers. The tension is palpable in Lebanon, and its intensity, and raw honesty, help it deliver an extremely personal view of war in its chaotic brutality. Lebanon is reminiscent of superior war films like The Story of G.I. Joe or Ran--but with the intimacy and persistent anxiety of films that also take place in small, confined places, like Apollo 13 or Das Boot. Yet Maoz and his brilliant cast deliver the deep ambivalence of war and human combat in a human, relatable way. And the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East make the messages and "sides" of the battles of Lebanon as fresh for modern viewers as for those who recall this particular war. Maoz's great skill is to take a subject as vast as war and scale it down to the most human--and therefore the most affecting--level possible. The tragedy, and gallows humor, of war are so effectively captured, that for the viewer it's almost like holding up a mirror to the human race--and mourning what is seen there. --A.T. Hurley

Product Description

In 1982, during the First Lebanon War, a tank manned by a novice crew of Israeli soldiers are led into a town previously bombed by the air force. Young men who have never fought before are now placed inside of a killing machine and thrown into a situation that quickly spins out of control, testing the mental toughness of the men inside of a confined space, with only the lens of a periscopic gun sight to see the madness outside. In Lebanon, writer-director Samuel Maoz has created a compelling, visceral drama in the tradition of Das Boot. Based on his personal experiences in the Israeli army, the film is as much a personal work of filmmaking as a triumph of powerful storytelling.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A descent into darkness January 20, 2011
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Lebanon" is the last of a small crop of acclaimed Israeli war films that addresses the First Lebanese War of 1982. The first was "Beaufort", released in 2007, followed by "Waltz with Bashir" in 2008. Curiously the first of these movies, Beaufort, depicts the last chapter of the war that involves the precipitous Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon. Waltz with Bashir is an animated film mostly centered around the massacre of Palestinian refugees in the camp of Sabra and Shatila. Beaufort was honest, sad and difficult to watch due to the slow motion prevailing in the film. Waltz with Bashir is enthralling but morally murky for eventually placing almost the entirety of the culpability of the massacre on the actions of the Lebanese Phalanges. Lebanon, I feel, is by far the best of the three. It has a unique form of presenting its story. The movie alternates scenes of the inside of a tank with views through the gunsight of the gun turret. The four Israeli soldiers inside the combat vehicle experience the events of the first 24 hours of the war in a progressively deteriorating atmosphere, suffused with broken equipment, stench, filth and smoke. Through the gunsight, the audience can visualize the war in its total depravity. The movie does not preach, take sides or sanitize the insanity of combat. The horrific scenes of destruction of property, dead and dying civilians, and unending pain and suffering are only matched by the quick psychological deterioration of the soldiers. The tank crew is not in control of their fate or environment, and there is no attempt to create false heroism or glorify their actions. Samuel Maoz, the director, delivers an astonishing cinematic experience. It is difficult to make comments about this movie that will not involve spoilers. Read more ›
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Worst War Film Ever Made December 18, 2012
Format:DVD
Despite what his bio says, it is clear that Israeli director Samuel Maoz has either never been inside a tank (it is claimed that he was a gunner in the June 1982 War) or has forgotten everything he ever saw inside one. The 2009 Israeli film Lebanon, about an Israeli tank crew on the first few days of the Israeli invasion of Lebanon in June 1982, is easily the worst war film ever made. It is multiple sins: it is completely unrealistic in important details, the characters are ridiculous and unsympathetic and is essentially built around a gimmick, rather than a story. The director's idea was clearly to capture the claustrophobia of tank warfare and the intensity of frontline action through a "gunner's eye" view of events. This is not a bad idea in itself, just horribly executed here. For starters, I have never seen a tanker (having been one myself) suffer from claustrophobia; exact opposite - "man, oh man, am I glad to have all this armor wrapped around me instead of being outside like the bloody infantry." Tankers love their tanks (exact when they are broken down), and do not treat them like garbage piles as depicted here. The film is also very anti-Israeli at its core, which explains why it was both blocked by the Government of Israel and given an award - for political reasons - in the Venice Film Festival. It was an awful choice.

To begin with, none of the film is actually filmed inside a real tank and the only hint as to what kind of vehicle it is supposed to represent appears in the last few seconds of the film - a brief exterior shot of a Centurion tank amidst a field of sunflowers. It is clear that the Israeli military provided no help in making this film (why would it? - it makes them look like thugs).
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10 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Lebanon not as advertised February 24, 2011
Format:DVD
After reading reviews here I bought the video intrigued since my father prepped Centurian tanks before the 6 day war to send to Israel in the 60's. They were in rough shape and he was impressed that the IDF upgraded the armor and the main gun and made them serviceable. I wanted to get a sense what the tank was like in battle since my father loved driving and repairing the Centurian. My uncle was one of the key evaluators of the Leopard mk 1 that Canada bought to replace it. He built a banked test track with various other features to test the suspension etc. The movie Lebanon is really hard to like, first the tank interior is far too big. The cameras had to go somewhere I agree but the submarine analogy fits, the lack of discipline, hand wringing and lack of hygiene displayed did not reflect reality. As a former infantry reservist I got really filthy on scheme but never got to the point these clowns display. A commander who won't enforce discipline, a gunner who won't defend himself, a driver who is clueless about his machine. This is not a war movie at all! It is just a protest film! It did not inform, or make me think. The telephoto lense effect of the gun ports was ridiculous like a documentary film crew focusing on stuff they could not possibly see, or care about. The script is atrocious, convoluted and chopped up. I doubt the director knew what he was doing. He seem to be trying to exorcise demons and create anti-war sentiment with someones elses money. A total waste of resources! Buy Beaufort or some of the documentaries on the Israeli conflict made by actual film makers. You won't learn anything about the conflict from either the Lebanese or Israeli view points you didn't already know from news reports. Avoid this mess.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Credible In Every Way
I have an idea that combat veterans from any era and any country will identify with the unplanned contingencies that happen in any theater large or small. Read more
Published 1 month ago by mr. critic
3.0 out of 5 stars Tech issues, but good portrayal of the confusion of war
I've never fought/worked in a tank, but I've dealt with enough folks who have to know that a lot of the technical detail inside the tank is not on - I'll leave it to tankers to fix... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Anthony Prudori
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of annoying
It didn't appear that their military training was all that effective; none of them seemed willing or able to perform any of their assigned tasks. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Carpe Diem
4.0 out of 5 stars Can feel the metal!
Well in 'Das Boot' we had a true to life experience inside a German Ú-Boat,in 'Lebanon' it's metal heating up all around you inside a tank,another successful attempt to... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Manjula Palihena
1.0 out of 5 stars "I have to pee."
I am extremely disappointed.
The message is heavy handed, the tank and its crew are unconvincing and the dialogue amounts to little more than, "I have to pee". Read more
Published on February 26, 2012 by Dorothy
5.0 out of 5 stars A Hand Relieving
It seems after Hollywood wonders numerous not much could be shot new, capturing viewer's attention outside the Dream-Factory, in Israel for sure. Read more
Published on January 10, 2012 by Michael Kerjman
3.0 out of 5 stars Kudos on the cinematography. And the makeup. But never really cared...
Beautifully filmed, so kudos on the cinematography. And the makeup. But I never got a sense of the characters other than a few routine character traits, and I never really cared... Read more
Published on November 25, 2011 by Michael Harbour
4.0 out of 5 stars Any war is hell
A first time Israeli director Samuel Maoz, relives his days as a young solder in the 1982 war with Lebanon. Read more
Published on November 16, 2011 by M. Oleson
5.0 out of 5 stars my review of the movie LEBANON
I really liked this movie a lot, they did a great job simulating the Israeli tank scenes and what it felt like being inside a tank during combat, very realistic special effects and... Read more
Published on September 19, 2011 by movie buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Metaphors and the realities of war
Writer/director Samuel Maoz has created in his film LEBANON a statement about war we are not likely to forget. Read more
Published on August 20, 2011 by Grady Harp
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