Magazine article Screen International

Room 514

Magazine article Screen International

Room 514

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Sharon Bar-Ziv. Israel. 2012. 90mins

The confrontational drama at the heart of new Israeli film Room 514 is impressively staged, as a determined young female military investigator has to take on the complex case of a top officer who may have exceeded his authority while also tackling good old-fashioned sexism in the workplace. Largely set in the confines of the interrogation room - the Room 5145 of the title - it is well performed and nicely intense at times.

Asia Naifeld is excellent in a demanding role that raises as many questions about the woman's place in the military as it does the Israeli army's attitude.

World premiering at the Rotterdam Film Festival, Sharon Bar-Ziv's feature debut may well tread familiar territory, but the structure - long takes, plenty of close-ups, a claustrophobic atmosphere and a complex heroine - make the film memorable and it should be a regular at other film festivals.

The structure is simple. Anna (the impressive Asia Naifeld) is investigating a case involving Israeli soldiers attacking Palestinian civilians after stopping them. But after getting information from a moralistic Sgt Nimrod (Guy Kapul) she has to interrogate the heroic company commander of a special unit Davidi (Udi Persi), who is adamant that he has done no wrong.

Further complications come in the form of her direct boss Erez (Ohad Hall) with whom Anna is having a passionate affair (they have sex in Room 514) despite the fact he is soon to be married. …

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