Israel, Germany, France


The First Lebanon War, June, 1982. A lone tank and a platoon of paratroopers are dispatched to search a hostile town that has been bombarded by the Israeli Air Force. The mission gets out of control and turns into a death trap. Night falls and the wounded troops remain trapped in the center of a town in ruins, unable to communicate with the central command and surrounded by Syrian commandos closing in on all sides. The film's heroes are the tank crew: Shmulik the gunner, Assi the commander, Herzl the loader and Yigal the driver, four 20 year old boys, operating a killing machine. They are not courageous war heroes, eager for battle or self-sacrifice. All they have is a terrible fear of death. They find themselves losing their way amid the chaos of war. Shmulik, the gunner, is the last link in the chain of death. He is the one who sees the target through the cross-hairs, pulls the trigger and kills. He has to make horrendous split second decisions under massive pressure. But he's not cut out for it and his failure to function exposes his comrades to death that lurks everywhere. Lebanon is based on a true story about survival in the face of a palpable threat of death, a situation in which the conflict between basic instincts and human conscience claims its victims.

Director's Statement

On June 6,1982, at 6:15 a.m., I experienced the horrors of war firsthand, for the first time in my life. I reacted in an instinctive act of self defense. I was 20 years old. 25 years after that miserable morning that opened the Lebanon War, I wrote the script for the film Lebanon. Whenever I had tried before, I could not continue. Better to live in denial than not to live at all. When a person feels he has nothing to lose, he takes chances. In early 2007,1 hit rock bottom and decided to go all the way. I felt a weird sense of euphoria. This was not a measured, organized writing process, but rather a kind of trance. I wanted to convey the devastating experience of war in the hearts and souls of the four heroes.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Samuel Maoz

Written by: Samuel Maoz

Produced by: Leon Edery, Daniel Silber, Uri Sabag, Einat Bickel, Benjamina Mirnik, ilann girard, Moshe Edery

Cinematography: Giora Bejach

Editing: Arik Lahav-Leibovich

Production Design: Ariel Roshko

Cast: Itay Tiran, Oshri Cohen, Michael Moshonov, Zohar Strauss, Raymonde Amsalem, Yoav Donat

Nominations and Awards

  • European Discovery - Prix Fipresci 2010
  • European Cinematographer – Prix Carlo Di Palma 2010
  • European Director 2010
  • European Screenwriter 2010
  • European Editor 2010
  • European Film 2010
  • Feature Film Selection 2010