Young Israelis know what awaits them when they turn 18: they’ll have to serve in the army. And in Israel, military service often means actual combat, where there is the risk that you won’t survive. The diary excerpts of young people who died while in service, read by voice actors, express their struggle with the imposed violence, leaving no room for their own principles, and their fears and thwarted plans for the future.
Somber music and drone footage of young soldiers in a vast desert give an emotional charge to the film’s anti-militarist message. Shots of their carefree everyday lives are interspersed with amateur shots of military exercises, training on the shooting range and real rocket attacks.
Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi previously made the Oscar-nominated documentary 5 Broken Cameras (2011) with Palestinian Emad Burnat. Here he again sensitively portrays the tragedy of Israeli militarism, this time for the young people who are collectively being prepared to fight for their homeland.