Close to Home
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(Drama) Two young, different female soldiers patrol the anxious streets of Jerusalem, questioning Palestinians and looking for suicide bombers. The rebellious one finds the army demeaning; the controlled one is obedient. Under intense pressure, against a backdrop of any-minute-now terrorist attacks, a friendship takes hold and roles reverse.
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Top customer reviews
The story centers on two girls -- Marit, a shy "good girl" hesitant to make waves, and the undisciplined, negligent Smadar -- who are assigned patrol duty together (and unsurprisingly don't get-on famously at the outset). It is a very touching film, in which these two very different young women increasingly look to each other for support as they struggle to be normal girls, when placed in the very abnormal situation of having to keep constant vigilance in a city where terrorism is an omnipresent threat.
As opposed to pretentious, unbelievable dreck like The Hurt Locker, Close To Home offers realistic scenarios and believable characters -- not surprising, given that Israel's mandatory service means that most (if not all) the people who worked on the film are ex-IDF personnel themselves. Two leads, Naama Schendar (Marit) and Smadar Sayar (Smadar) give wonderful, empathetic performances too. The film also drives-home the sobering fact that much of the front line of Israel's war on terror is "manned" by teenage girls. These young conscripts face responsibilities -- and perils -- that teenagers in other western nations can't begin to imagine.
Though not a huge-budgeted film, the low production values are resourcefully allocated and every scene is believable (again unlike the much-bigger budgeted Hurt Locker). Despite a somewhat abrupt and slightly ambiguous ending, this is a first-rate production, which deserves a lot more attention that it got. HIGHLY recommended.
This movie is a bit slow however it's not intended to be an action movie. There are some scenes where either Smadar or Mirit seem to behave somewhat irrationally. But that really seems to be the point of the movie as this is a story about life in a world of constant tension and uncertainty. And one way to cope with it is to do something that may seem irrational. This is something most of us don't really know anything about nor can we quite fully comprehend what it's like. One thing is for sure, watching this movie will make you appreciate what you have.