Foxtrot (2017)

This review comes courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics, from whom I received a screener. I was not paid or compensated for this review in any way. 

Foxtrot_poster
Poster

By looking at the poster for Foxtrot, you might draw a few conclusions on the subject, such as life in the midst of war. You would be correct in doing so, but of course the film is much, much more complex than that and honestly I would be at a loss how best to suggest the film’s complexity be expressed in its press material.

In the simplest terms, the movie is an Israeli war drama about the effects of a young soldier’s death on his family. That alone would have held my interest, as war and its cost, when deftly handled, is fascinating enough. However, Foxtrot was not content to showcase such a straightforward premise and instead dives deep into family dynamics and personal demons.

It was warmly received at Venice and the Toronto International Film Festival, where it won awards, but for some reason did not receive an Oscar nomination. Politics may come into play, as it depicts the Israeli Defense Force committing a problematic crime against Arabic people, and so the film was denounced by Israel’s Minister of Culture. There are much, much smarter people out there who can speak to the complexities of this subject, and I will willingly admit to ignorance on many of these issues.

Foxtrot, named for both the dance and the Nato phonetic alphabet, is not a light movie but it was a brilliant depiction of loss and raw emotions.

As always, spoilers below the cut.

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Film Review: Under the Shadow (2016)

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…and barely hanging on.

Longtime readers of my blog are familiar with my constant complaint that quality horror movies are few and far between. It probably makes me a snob, but the older I get the less interested I am in spending time watching something for the sake of supporting the genre. I just don’t have the patience for fountains of gore and crying teenagers in their underwear unless there is an intelligent twist on it, such as Cabin In the Woods or It Follows. 

Enter Under the Shadow. 

The UK’s entry for foreign language film for the Oscars, it was somehow not nominated. I’ve no idea why, and it’s a shame because this film isn’t just a great scare, it’s important. As I mentioned, intelligent horror films are few and far between, and one with such a riveting premise as Under the Shadow is doubly notable. It’s especially worthy of promotion as the world moves into a more xenophobic phase because it is about precisely that: superstitious thinking. 

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Busy Times – Check Back Next Week!

I got busy this week working on a lot of fiction writing and such, so no post today, unfortunately.

Check back next week for a review of Under the Shadow, a horror film featuring a mother and daughter trying to survive both a vengeful ghost and daily life in 1980s Tehran!

Under the Shadow Poster

See you next week!