How do wars end? This is a less familiar question than the one generally posed and Joseph Cedar (Campfire; Time of Favour) is intrigued by the conclusion of the battle that took place around one of the bloodiest mountains in the Middle East, the Beaufort Castle. Cedar is himself a veteran of the first Lebanon war, which informs this story of the poignant retreat in 2000 of a group of young soldiers who must find ways to carry out their mission until the very last minute. As the deceptive quiet of the mountain is shattered by shelling and the day of evacuation approaches, the characters of these men are revealed in their full complexity. Without taking sides, Joseph Cedar’s film is an intense, superbly nuanced work that captures the unrelenting tension – and comradeship – experienced by young men in a combat zone.

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