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MEI Film Festival: 'Zero Motivation'


Oct 23

7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Figge Art Museum, 225 W. Second Street, Davenport, IA

The Middle East Institute Film Festival returns to the Figge for Day 5 of the six-day event highlighting some of the best in contemporary film making from the Middle East.  

Filmmaker Talya Lavie steps into the spotlight with Zero Motivation, a zany, dark comedic portrait of everyday life for a unit of young, female Israeli soldiers. The human resources office at a remote desert base serves as the setting for this cast of characters who bide their time pushing paper and battling in computer games, counting down the minutes until they can return to civilian life. Amidst their boredom and clashing personalities, issues of commitment-to friendship, love, and country-are handled with humor and sharp-edged wit... Lavie combats the status quo by flipping genre on its head and bending gender roles to a delightful extreme. -Tribeca Film Festival

Cost: Free and open to the public



More info: SAU Middle East Institute website

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WINNER - Best Narrative Feature - Tribeca Film Festival, 2014

"One of the funniest, truest films ever made about being young, female and at the bottom of the food chain in a rigid, impersonal organization, Talya Lavie's Zero Motivation dazzles with its believable dialogue, spot-on acting, careful plotting and subversive black humor. The movie, which is about women soldiers at an IDF base in the Negev, won the top award for international feature films and the Nora Ephron Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival last spring, and is being billed as MASH for the 21st century. It's a mock epic that pokes fun at the smallness of the roles these young women are confined to take.

While the movie is filled with inside jokes - the audience I saw it with in Tel Aviv laughed hard at many army references - it's more than just a farce about military bureaucracy, although it is a brilliant takedown of the idiocies of office culture. It's a story about how young women's spirits are broken by the world if they don't look out for themselves.

Mercifully, though, there are no easily defined heroes and villains.

The young heroines are often their own worst enemies, and you'll laugh at them as much as with them. And although the setting is military, it's not a war movie. A few firearms are brandished, but the most lethal weapon turns out to be a staple gun."
- HANNAH BROWN, The Jerusalem Post, June 28, 2014

TALYA LAVIE is a director, screenwriter, and comics artist. She studied animation at the Bezalel Art Academy and graduated with merit from the Sam Spiegel Film School in Jerusalem. She authored screenplays for various television dramas. Her short film "Sliding Flora" screened at MoMA and in over 40 film festivals worldwide, among them the Berlinale. Her first feature film, "Zero Motivation," premiered at Tribeca and went on to win the festival's top prize and the Nora Ephron award, is supported by the Israeli Film Fund, and has participated in the Sundance Directors and Screenwriters Lab.

MORE LIKE THIS:Center for International Education, Diversity, Middle East Institute