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Lebanon (2009)

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During the First Lebanon War in 1982, a lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town.


Samuel Maoz


Samuel Maoz
17 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Yoav Donat Yoav Donat ... Shmulik
Itay Tiran ... Assi
Oshri Cohen ... Hertzel
Michael Moshonov ... Yigal
Zohar Shtrauss ... Gamil (as Zohar Strauss)
Dudu Tassa ... Syrian Captive
Ashraf Barhom ... 1st Phalangist (as Ashraf Barhum)
Fares Hananya Fares Hananya ... 2nd Phalangist
Reymonde Amsallem ... Lebanese Mother (as Reymonde Amsellem)
Byan Anteer Byan Anteer ... Lebanese Father (as Bian Antir)
Aisha Aisha ... Lebanese child
Fatima Fatima ... Lebanese child (as Fatma)
Khaled Salam Khaled Salam ... Lebanese Boy (as Khaled Salama)
Iad Abu Nama Iad Abu Nama ... BMW Driver
Hussein Mahagna Hussein Mahagna ... Truck Driver


June, 1982 - The First Lebanon War. A lone tank and a infantry platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town - a simple mission that turns into a nightmare. The four members of a tank crew find themselves in a violent situation that they cannot handle. Motivated by fear and the basic instinct of survival, they desperately try not to lose themselves in the most emblematic act of uncivilized problem solving: war. Written by Metro Communications

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for disturbing bloody war violence, language including sexual references, and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Israel | France | Germany | UK


Hebrew | Arabic | French | English

Release Date:

15 October 2009 (Israel) See more »

Also Known As:

Lebanon See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$17,145, 8 August 2010, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$367,798, 19 December 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Rejected for submission at both the Berlin and Cannes International Film Festival. The film went on to win the Golden Lion at Venice. See more »


The car in the courtyard next to the pile of clothes that the woman falls into has a number plate that was introduced in Lebanon in the 90s. See more »


Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 28 April 2010 (2010) See more »


Ana el Qwerka
Music by Mustapha Skandrani and lyrics by Mustapha Kechekoui
Performed by Sami Badra, with Vitali Podolski (accordion), Sanya Kroytor (violin) and Yisrael Bright (piano)
See more »

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User Reviews

Metaphors and the realities of war
20 August 2011 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Writer/director Samuel Maoz has created in his film LEBANON a statement about war we are not likely to forget. Based on his own experiences, this film about the Israeli Invasion of Lebanon in June of 1982 (the first Lebanon war) internalizes the responses of young soldiers sent on a mission that should have seemed simple but became anything but simple. The reason the film's message is so strong is that it forces four young, virginal soldiers in a tiny enclosed atmosphere where they must by proximity depend on each other to confront the whole question of the validity of war. It is exceptionally powerful.

A solitary army tank and a small platoon of paratroopers are sent to assure that a hostile Lebanese town bombed by the Israelis is secure. In the tank are four soldiers - Shmulik (Yoav Donat), Assi (Itay Tiran), Hertzel (the exceptionally handsome and brilliant Oshri Cohen), and Yigal (Michael Moshonov). They are not seasoned soldiers and what lies outside their protective tank is terrifying to them. Inside the tank is a claustrophobic, filthy, smoky, and foul smelling space where the four soldiers are able to view the effects of war and their tenuous grasp on reality through only the periscope of the tank. Occasionally the lid of the tank is opened to drop in a casualty along with a moment of fresh air to breathe, but basically these four men must grapple with the horrors of killing and destruction outside their tank. The aspects of human frailty that war exposes appear like autopsies on the minds and gradual mental deterioration that overtakes each of these vulnerable and emotionally unprepared young men. They may attempt humor but it is thwarted by the gore outside their iron shield of the tank where Lebanese soldiers attack and mothers suffer the loss of their children in the bombings and shootings of the little village. Maoz wisely places enough of the battle scenes outside the confines of the tank, making the audience as shocked by the atrocities of war as viewed from the exterior as the restricted glimpses of that war available to the tank crew.

This is most assuredly an anti-war film but rather than waving flags of attack and endless scenes of gore, Maoz keeps it distilled and in doing so makes it even more horrific. The cast is brilliant, delivering performances so well crafted that they linger in the minds eye long after the film is over. The haunting musical score is by Nicolas Becker and Benoît Delbecq and the almost impossible cinematography is by Giora Bejach . In Hebrew, Arabic, French and English with subtitles. Highly recommended.

Grady Harp

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