Rock the Casbah…a movie review by Roz Tarszisz

June 25, 2014 by Roz Tarszisz
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Gritty and uncompromising, Rock the Casbah is an Israeli-French production set in 1989 in Gaza during the First Intifada.

As they arrive in Gaza to keep order, young Israeli soldiers are issued with bullets – both real and rubber and instructed not to use the former unless given a direct order to do so.

When a washing machine is thrown from the roof of a village house during a routine patrol, one of the soldiers is killed. His platoon mates are stationed on that same roof to keep a close watch on the neighbourhood and find the culprits.

The daily watch gets boring even as tension increases but there are moments of humour. We understand the impact on the Palestinian family who are forced to let the noisy intruders gain roof access through their home.

Yariv Horowitz, the director, has said that he has drawn on his own army experiences and observations. His intention was to show the effect of putting young men straight out of high school into impossible physical and moral situations with which they were ill equipped to cope.

The acting is uniformly strong and the film gives insight into a difficult and ultimately hopeless situation. It makes for uncomfortable but compelling viewing.

Director: Yariv Horowitz. Made in 2012

Starring Yon Tumarkin, Yotam Ishay, Angel Bonanni, Roy Nik, Iftach Rave, Khawla Alhaj Debsi

95 mins

4 out of 5

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