Israeli cinema took another step forward this morning when Joseph Cedar’s Beaufort was nominated for an Academy Award, Best Foreign Language Film.
The story takes place in the year 2000, the year of the IDF withdrawal from southern Lebanon. The setting for the film is a 12th century Crusader stronghold in southern Lebanon, just prior to Israel’s withdrawal from that country in 2000. Israel’s sudden withdrawal from Beaufort and Lebanon after 18 years of occupation is the backdrop for Cedar’s film, which outlines the daily routine of a group of soldiers, their feelings and their fears, and explores their moral dilemmas in the days preceding the withdrawal.
The movie’s director, himself an IDF veteran who was stationed in Lebanon, uses the stone walls of Beaufort castle as a symbol of the futility and endlessness of war. The film was shot in northern Israel in the spring of 2006. Ironically, filming was completed in June, just a month before the second war in Lebanon broke out.
Watch the trailer here.