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film review

Michael Feldmann (Lior Ashkenazi) teaches his wife, Daphna (Sarah Adler), the foxtrot as they grieve the death of their son.Mongrel

Rating:

4 out of 4 stars
  • Title: Foxtrot
  • Written and directed by Samuel Maoz
  • Starring Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler
  • Classification 14A
  • Runtime 108 minutes

In Samuel Maoz’s stylish and stylized film, three generations of traumatized Israelis dance the foxtrot – literally. One is a group of aging Holocaust survivors in a nursing home; another is represented by a bored young soldier at an isolated military check point. And in the middle generation, the main character, Michael Feldmann, shows his wife the dance step that always brings you back to the same place – as they grieve the death of their son in the line of military duty. From its startling opening scene in which that death is announced to a surreal second act set at the desert roadblock where a camel occasionally wanders through, Foxtrot is an admirably precise yet dreamlike film, probing the trap in which contemporary Israel finds itself. It is deliberately designed, superbly filmed and affectingly acted by Lior Ashkenazi and Sarah Adler as the stricken Feldmanns. Maoz’s second feature after Lebanon, about his own experiences fighting in the Lebanon war in 1982, Foxtrot has been highly controversial in the filmmaker’s homeland and no wonder: It is both delicate allegory and dark indictment.

Foxtrot is an allegory for Israeli society trapped by its past