No one wants to see a soldier at the door, waiting to break bad news.
This is exactly the scenario at the beginning of “Foxtrot,” the Israeli war drama nominated for this year’s Foreign Language Academy Award, when Michael (Lior Ashkenazi) and Daphna Feldman (Sarah Adler) answer their door.
The opening scenes of this unsettling story unfold with stark sobriety—void of music, cold and somewhat detached, but still dripping with raw emotion—exactly how you might feel stumbling through the news of your son’s death. The Israeli army already has funeral plans set for Jonathan, and the shock that the family (including daughter Alma, played by Shira Haas) goes through is brutal and raw, so realistic but somehow also feeling like a dream.
And, yet, the film’s vivid portrayal of grief is not the only trick up writer/director Samuel Maoz’s sleeve. “Foxtrot” shares three stories, the previously mentioned falling in the middle chronologically, and there are plenty of surprises along the way.
The second act portrays the days leading up to the bad news, though from Jonathan’s perspective. At a bleak, monotonous checkpoint in the middle of nowhere, Jonathan (Yonaton Shiray) bides his time with... keep reading on the burg!
“Foxtrot” may not have won the Oscar this year. Nonetheless, it is a film you will not want to miss.
“Foxtrot” opens April 20 at Midtown Cinema, 250 Reily St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit www.midtowncinema.com.