IMDb Review 1:
This is not a Hollywood film, and not an action film by any means. Its an
art film, just look at the opening love making sequence. Two characters
making love sopping in paint on Yom Kippur while everyone else takes part in
religious activities. You dont get much more sac-religious than this. So we
know this is not a propoganda film.
Despite its boredom and such, when compared to other "anti-war" films like
platoon and such, this is king. Why? Because there is nothing glorifying
about it or the characters, its boring, there is not a single gunshot in the
whole film. Rather we spend 2 hours following a medical rescue team in a
chopper hauling dead and wounded bodies into a chopper. No heroic sacrifice,
no barely dodging bullets and RPG's, no cool action sequences at all. Israel
needs more films like this, to see the futility of fighting wars like this.
The use of long shots puts us on the outside looking in on the film, and the
use of long takes helps us observe these events in real time. Specifically
with the stuck in the mud scene. THe one character ironically says "this
earth, this sH^&*^" When the Israeli ideology is so focused on a spiritual
connection with the land, the land they feel entitled to.
Its about time that Anti-war films actually institute a feeling of real
social change, and not pretend to be anti-war films conveying sacrifice and
a "it was worth it" ideal. Real anti-war films do not just show the horror
of blood and guts and death, they show the futility of it completely. And
they are very difficult for the viewer to accept for the first time.
IMDb Review 2:
As an Israeli's view of war, "Kippur" takes "Thin Red Line"s visual
approach, with little plot or explication or context, from the sacred
(Yom Kippur mis en scene) to the procreative beginning, to the wounds
and exhausted faces of the soldiers.
This is a war where a soldier takes his used Fiat right up to the front
and back again to his girlfriend's front door. Unlike "Tigerland" where
the soldiers are young neophytes with taut basic training bodies, these
are lean, lanky, long-haired chain-smoking, experienced reservists who
pretty much pick and choose where they'll serve. Instead of the usual
U.S. barking sergeant, this unit is based on long-term friendship,
training, coordination, shared goals and consensus. Fodder for
discussion on military management styles. And I can't think of another
war film where a guy named Weinraub is as sexy looking.
Even my husband, who is a devotee of the War Channel and thought it was
way too arty (and amazingly this was from the same director who did the
agit-prop anti-Orthodox domestic drama "Kadosh") found one long
sequence with almost no dialog very effective, as the medics try to
rescue the wounded in the mud.
The projectionist shut down the credits before it was finished.
(originally written 12/2/2000)
IMDb Review 3:
Kippur (2000) Directed by Amos Gitai Starring: Liron Levo, Tomer Russo,
Uri Klausner, Yoram Hattab, and Guy Amir ***1/2 out of 5 stars
Forgive me if I see the good in everything, but I believe that this
Israel film, which features excruciatingly long takes and little
dialogue, DOES have some deep significance. However, the long takes ARE
draining, yet when you realize the purpose, it all seems to make sense.
Based on Israeli filmmaker Amos Gitai's personal experiences in the Yom
Kippur war in 1973, in which Egyptian and Syrian forces attacked Israel
on their holy day of Yom Kippur, "Kippur" follows a search and rescue
team of four people as they travel by helicopter to different war-torn
areas to find as many people alive as possible and bring them to some
sort of safety and medical treatment. The film begins with two
characters, Ruso (Yes, Russo) and Weinraub (Levo), who find themselves
abruptly trying to get into a war. One of the characters (Ruso, I
believe) is eager to get to the battlefront, proclaiming that a war has
finally reached their generation and that "it is ours!". You must
understand that Israel has been going through a war at least once, if
not twice a decade. So, war, to the naive, inexperience individual,
seems like a rite of passage.
Ruso and Weinraub, after awkwardly entering the front lines and being
told to go back as shells are heard closeby, stop on the side and meet
up with Gadassi (Amir), a medical officer trying to find a ride to the
mission briefing. When they finally get to the battlefield to start the
search and rescue, you soon find out that the film is about the death,
detachment, and irrationality of war. What began as a rite of passage
for the characters ended up being a strange, tortured nightmare. They
go from area to area finding amputees and dead soldiers, usually unable
to help all and having to leave much of the bodies on the battlefield.
One torturous take follows the four characters as they try to help a
soldier, who is hurt and obviously alive, out of a big field of mud. As
they fall and slip, the soldier's body is thrown around,
unintentionally carelessly. The frustration takes over one of the
soldiers helping him as he breaks down in the middle of the mud and the
doctor is going back and forth trying to calm the panicking soldier and
help the injured one. When they finally make it to some other officers
waiting for them to take the soldier away, he is already dead and the
helplessness on the soldier's muddy faces says it all.
This film can be and will be very draining for most viewers. The long
takes and the often far away framing distances ourselves from the
action and you should soon learn to explore and examine what Gitai is
trying to convey through the characters' stories. The film DOES build
up to a briefly explosive climax, which poetically brings everything
full circle for the soldiers. "Kippur" is a difficult film appropriate
for its difficult subject. It is also daring, unwavering in its
message, and, most importantly, truthful to the nonsense that war