February 14, 2007
Studio: IFC Films
Directors: Vidi Bilu, Dalia Hager
MPAA Rating: N/A
Screenwriters: Vidi Bilu, Dalia Hager
Starring: Smadar Sayar, Naama Schendar, Danny Geva, Sharon Reginiano, Sandra Schonwald, Irit Suki, Ami Weinberg, Katia Zinbris, Anna Stephan, Ilanit Ben Yaakov
Official website: IFCFirstTake.com
"Close to Home" places the Israel-Palestine conflict into the background and the social lives of young Israeli female soldiers into the foreground. "Close to Home" is much more a story of life and growing up than one with a political message. It is not about governments but how the decisions of politicians and religious leaders set the stage for the drama that is young adulthood. The two central characters, Mirit and Smadar are thrown together by the commanding officer of their unit, and are made responsible for stopping Arabs on the streets of Jerusalem for ID cards. But Smadar and Mirit couldn't be more different. The two remain unfriendly until a bomb explosion creates a tenuous bond of friendship between the two. After the bombing, Mirit and Smadar are given an easier assignment checking bags at the entrance to a fancy hotel, but Mirit ignores her duties and takes off with a guest ultimately landing her in a military prison. Mirit's and Smadar's passions and interests are surprisingly divorced from the Israel-Palestine conflict. The compulsory army service is seen as just another unpleasant hurdle to clear in order to start the adult portion of one's life.