12/03/14 4:00am
12/03/2014 4:00 AM |

Photo courtesy of Zeitgeist Films


Zero Motivation
Directed by Talya Lavie
Opens December 3 at Film Forum

When Sam Mitnick, one of Keith Gessen’s Sad Young Literary Men, travels to Israel to write his great Zionist novel, he instead arrives—prompted by a freewheeling IDF tank—at the realization that the Palestinians may be idiots, but the Israelis are fuckers, “and when Sam saw an idiot faced with his natural enemy, the fucker, he knew whose side he was on.” Talya Lavie’s Bored Young Military Women embrace being idiots and fuckers both, though they’re all young Israelis doing punishingly monotonous mandatory service in the admin office of a desert base. Lavie says she channeled classics of military malaise like M*A*S*H and Catch-22 when she was writing and directing her first feature, but the film quickly marches into Full Metal Jacket territory: it’s all pranks and paper shredders until a jilted fling takes a boxcutter into the bath.