HomeNews & Views Foreign Flick Friday: ‘Zero Motivation’—Critics Love 2014 Tribeca Favorite

Foreign Flick Friday: ‘Zero Motivation’—Critics Love 2014 Tribeca Favorite


In her first feature-length film, and inspired by her own experience in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), writer-director Talya Lavie tells the story of two young women, Daffi and Zohar, (and their supervisor Rama) who are completing their two years of compulsory military service by playing out mind-numbingly thankless and administrative roles.1 What’s it like?

Private Benjamin meets M*A*S*H, speaks Hebrew, and keeps kosher. Set in a remote desert military base, a platoon of young women soldiers, all Israeli conscripts, serve out their time playing computer games, singing pop songs, and conspiring to get transferred to Tel Avivwhile endlessly serving coffee to the men who run the show. Here’s an Israeli film filled with funny, quick-witted, zany women who wield their staple guns like automatic weaponry. If there is a war going on, it’s one against boredom, bad uniforms, dopey rules, and doing everything in triplicate. Debut filmmaker Talya Lavie is Israel’s answer to Lena Dunham: Zero Motivation has had rave reviews and huge audiences.”2

{{Curious about ways to improve your language skills using films or shows? See our inaugural Foreign Flick Friday post.}}

While the military backdrop plays a large role in the story, Zero Motivation is less focused on the political underpinnings of military service—or on any particular initiative by any one country; rather, the film explores concepts such as our sense of purpose, what it means to come of age, glass ceilings yet to be shattered, and the importance of female friendships.

The film was lauded by critics and won several awards, including six Ophir Awards (the Israeli Oscars) and Best Narrative Feature at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.3

Are you ready for a refreshing dose of honesty, satire, absurdity, and dark comedy?

It’s movie night!  Watch the trailer with us or go a step further and watch the full film—available for streaming on Amazon and iTunes. Then let us know what you think @LeadWLanguages on social media.

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