Take the Gun, Leave the Castle

Sometimes, safeguarding historical monuments from enemy hostiles is a lot like watching paint dry. For the poor soldier doomed to such tedium, those moments in between explosions and such are filled with nose picking, loitering, foot patrols, and fantasies of banging loose American women.

Such is the plight of Israeli director Joseph Cedar's Beaufort – hunkering down inside an 800-year-old fort is right up there with clipping your toenails. Liraz Liberti is the overzealous and trigger-happy commander of an Israeli Defense Force outfit, tasked with shacking up his men inside the Lebanese hunk of brick and cinder. As fatalities mount under Liraz’s military blunders (read: exploding mines!), the pissed-off ranks ponder the value of protecting high-altitude real estate they don’t care about – while praying they survive the daily bombings. Cedar’s piercingly sober (and strangely non-political) trundle through weary garrison life and sentry duty is just as breathtaking as the film’s claustrophobic set and scenic mountainous landscapes. Catch the Oscar-nominated Beaufort all week at Sunrise Cinemas 11 (4321 NW Pine Island Rd., Sunrise). Call 954-748-0333, or visit sunrsecinemas.com.
March 2-8, 2008

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Phillip Valys