Foxtrot

Where: The Theatre & Function Rooms - Lopdell House, 418 Titirangi Road, Titirangi, Auckland

Restrictions: R13

Ticket Information:

  • Adult: $14.35 ($14.00 + $0.35 fees)
  • Senior/Student: $12.30 ($12.00 + $0.30 fees)
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Listed by: Robin Kewell

'foxtrot' (R13) 108 mins 2018 Direct from the NZ International Film Festival 2018. With thanks to Sharmill films for letting us show this so soon after the festival Los Angeles Times

No matter what you're expecting, "Foxtrot" is not the film you expect it to be. It's better.

Foxtrot, which is a dance as well as an army code word, depicts contemporary Israel as a very surreal place, but one causing genuine pain and psychological damage. The film's originality lies in its difficult, intense narration, but Maoz doesn't seem to worry about losing some puzzled viewers along the way with comprehension issues. For those who reach the end, the story makes perfect sense. The film should have a full carnet of festival dates (Telluride is its next stop) with the more adventurous art houses following.

The film is divided into three unequal parts that fit together after a while. In the first, an army detail rings the bell of the Feldman family to inform them that their son Jonathan has been killed in the line of duty.
The film is definitely a strong experience, but putting it all together is up to the viewer. Taking a clue from the title, the characters seem to have a date with destiny because no matter what they do, they always end up in the same spot, like the forward and backward steps of the foxtrot. More compellingly, the pain of grief-stricken parents is seen as a direct result of the absurdity of warfare and the way it is waged with unready recruits.

The film has been criticized by the Israeli culture minister and has provoked several articles in the press. One argued that the IDF could never do what was shown in the film, as if this was a factual documentary. Having seen the film, which is more than the minister did when she criticized it, highlights how in denial she is.

This is a great film. But its interpretation is a straying from the accepted narrative. What the minister has shown is how narrow the acceptable narrative has become.

Variety (USA)
Brilliantly constructed with a visual audacity that serves the subject rather than the other way around, this is award-winning filmmaking on a fearless level.

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