ZERO MOTIVATION, the randy, raucous, rabble-rousing comedy about the Israeli military (women's division) that opens this coming week, but being steeped in Israeli culture probably helps one to fully appreciate this film. The half-dozen or so characters we meet and spend some "quality" time with, including one especially deceptive male, have various degrees of motivation (toward quite different goals) but their bizarre appeal and utterly quirky humor is almost never in doubt.
Talya Lavie (shown at left), who I am guessing based this somewhat on her own experience and that of other women she knew (doesn't almost every Israeli man and woman spend some time in the military?), the movie commands our attention almost as much for its strangeness as for its entertainment. And, trust me, there is plenty here of both. The several young women we meet who are fast friends (except when they're not) and will seem to do just about anything to get out of doing real work, represent, I guess, a cross section of Israeli womanhood.
Nelly Tagar (above), and Zohar, a clunkier, big-boned girl with initially the least motivation of all, played most tellingly by Dana Ivgy (below, of Or and Broken Wings).
Shani Klein,(below), a woman entirely motivated by and constantly working toward her upcoming promotion.
Zeitgeist Films, in Hebrew with English subtitles and running 100 minutes, the movie, after playing a number of festivals around the USA and elsewhere, opens this coming Wednesday in its U.S. theatrical debut at Film Forum in New York City, after which it will make its way around the country over the weeks and months to come. (It opens in L.A. on January 16 at Landmark's NuArt.) You can check all currently scheduled playdates by clicking here.