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Rock the Casbah

The characters of “Rock the Casbah” are young Israeli recruits during military service in the Gaza Zone, shortly after the launch of the military action against Israel in 1989. The war presented in the movie is very real, yet devoid of pathos or heroism; it shows the “ordinariness” of war. The recruits talk about girls, smoke pot, listen to music on the radio. The film resembles a report, the soldiers are not portrayed as valiant heroes and the parties to the conflict are involved in a pointless situation from which there is no exit. The viewer has the impression that the characters happened to be in the wrong place and at a wrong time. However, the film reminds the viewer that the very war did actually take place and has left its genuine mark on many people, which in turn exposes the futility and pointlessness of the Palestinian – Israeli conflict.The film’s title comes from a song by The Clash, namely, “Rock the Casbah”.

The director managed to show the two sides of the conflict in such a way that the viewer changes her mind every minute and once sides with the innocent civilians, and then with the armed soldiers. Finally, however, there is no way but to choose a side. The makers of the movie show that the situation is equally cruel, unjust and pointless on both sides; what is most important here are the ordinary people: a woman, a child or a soldier who does not see any point in fighting and just waits until he is safe and sound, back in his own home.


Rock the Casbah, dir. Yariv Horowitz

drama / Israel, France / 2012 / 93 min

cast: Yon Tumarkin, Yotam Ishay, Roy Nik, Iftach Rave