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Lebanon


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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 (29 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003Y5H5II
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,957 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

The crew never gets out of the "tank" - again ridiculous - but other people are constantly coming inside as if it were a bus station.
R. A Forczyk
The men grapple with not only their fear of death and fragile mortality but with their consciences and rising sense of morality -- and mortality.
Robin Simmons
A few of the characters are also interesting, although many of scenes are dimly lit which sometimes makes it difficult to tell who's who.
Cary B. Barad

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 30 people found the following review helpful By H. Franco on 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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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David Crumm on July 6, 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In 2011, Americans are once again celebrating Wolfgang Petersen's masterpiece of filmmaking about WWII German U-boat crews, Das Boot (Two-Disc Collector's Set) [Blu-ray]. Yet another edition of the movie was released this year to the acclaim of critics and even a special National Public Radio report on the movie.

By contrast, very few Americans have ever heard of this remarkable Israeli film, which might be described as the Das Boot of tank warfare in the Middle East. It's called just: Lebanon. Don't confuse this with another 2011 release, Lebanon, PA., which is the story of an American advertising executive who returns to his hometown. The award-winning Israeli film has just a single word for its English title: Lebanon.

While you could consider Lebanon as the Das Boot of tank warfare, that focus on the military hardware misses the kind of terrific discussions you can have with this film by director Samuel Maoz. Sure, if you're a "war buff," this movie is essential for your movie collection. But here's what makes Lebanon so eye-popping and so sure to fuel spirited conversation: Samuel Maoz was an Israeli army gunner on one of the first tanks that crossed the border in the 1982 Lebanon War. His experiences burned themselves into his psyche so deeply that he worked for years to create this 94-minute drama about a tank crew similar to his own. Watch the extras on this DVD in which Maoz steps from behind his camera and describes the trauma of his own experiences.
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. A Forczyk VINE VOICE on 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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