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Lebanon (2010)

Reymond Amsalem , Ashraf Barhom , Samuel Maoz  |  R |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Price: $52.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y5H5II
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,499 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Lebanon" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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.

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 32 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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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Worst War Film Ever Made December 18, 2012
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Counterview to Forczyk's review September 2, 2014
Format:Amazon Instant Video
In response to the bad review by Forczyk, he seemed offended by the film's point of view, accusing it of making Israeli soldiers "look like thugs." I don't actually agree with that, as I saw more complexity in the soldiers depicted in the movie than Forczyk did. But for what it is worth, I was a peacekeeping (sic) marine in Lebanon in 1982 and the Israeli soldiers I encountered were brutal. The tankers in particular used recon-by-fire tactics frequently. They did not give a damn about the Lebanese and were not worried about wasting a few Americans as well with their Blackwater-in-Nisoor-Square-style tactics. I remember hearing about a marine captain jumping up on an Israeli tank at one point and threatening a particularly out-of-control tank commander with his pistol. (Google it for details, It was not my unit.) Regarding the cinematic depiction of a leaky tank and its dispirited crew, Forczyk offhandedly and arrogantly dismisses this as a ridiculous figment of the filmmaker's imagination, invoking his expertise as a former tank crewman as proof. Well, his opinion of Israeli soldiers is counter to my own personal experience. Unlike him, I do not expand this into any arrogant claims, but just add my story to the mix. As with the soldiers, one can figure that other tankers had different experiences than Forczyk. Perhaps they did not view their machines and their task with as much enthusiasm as he and his crew may have. I certainly have read many accounts of tankers in battle who found a tank to be claustrophobic. With the limited viewing slits available on a buttoned-up tank, it is an inevitable human reaction. It doesn't mean you want to jump out into the maelstrom, just that you must fight in a claustrophobic foul-smelling environment. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth a watch
I really liked this movie, I collect war films and this is one of the few from the first person in a tank. Read more
Published 1 month ago by PhxFam
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece set mostly inside a tank during the war ...
A masterpiece set mostly inside a tank during the war. Unforgettable
Published 2 months ago by Peter M
5.0 out of 5 stars great tense film of gritting sweat soaked faces in a ...
great tense film of gritting sweat soaked faces in a set that must have been no greater than 10 x 10 feet. Shows you how limitations can make the creative process fly.
Published 2 months ago by Frank Cappello
5.0 out of 5 stars War from the tank turret
The absolute best "war" movie, shown from the (tank turret) truncated view of the soldier, really the only legitimate venue for an artist as opposed to propagandist.
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars Typical war is bad for people and other living things movie
Movies often ask us to suspend belief so that we might transport ourselves into another world and enjoy the journey. This movie did the same but had the opposite effect. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Anthony L. Poselenzny
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 8 months ago by mr. contrarian
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 10 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 11 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 24 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
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