Skip to main content

Beaufort (2007)

Beaufort. Feature film. (2007, 131 mins) IMDB anti-war film...


f you're a Canadian like me, Beaufort means something that is very different from what it means in this film. There's the literal translation from French to English, there's the Beaufort Sea and, to my discovery, there's a legendary castle in Lebanon that dates back to the crusades. The film is about the later.

The Israeli army controls this piece of land in Lebanon, but as the movie unfolds, control may be the wrong word. Soldiers live in a modern-day, fortified bunker on top a barren hill. It's steel and concrete and sand bags. Life inside is grim. Hygiene a luxury.

They are surrounded by the enemy--an enemy we never see or get to know. Every hour mortars scream into the compound, land and explode. The men run for cover. To them, the mortars seem more like a nuisance--like putting up with black flies or mosquitoes.

The men are solders. Always in full battle gear. Always thinking about getting out, saving their ass, bickering with one another. Besides that, they are simply a target. They aren't defending anything because there is nothing to defend. They never fire a shot. Never once do they see a target to shot at. They are biding time until they leave, and in this film, it's leaving the outpost for good.

In the first act, a bomb squad soldier arrives at Beaufort to dismantle a land mine (maybe an IUD) on the road leading to the fort. In a practical sense, it would be better to set it off and let it explode except the upper echelon want it dismantled to study what's inside. As the man works to dismantle the bomb, it goes off and is killed. His fellow soldiers are upset at the stupidity of the higher-ups. I don't blame them. What's effective about this moment is we don't know what will happen. The debate rages. Yes it will go off. No, it won't. There are reasons for both.

In Act II, a new development arises. The enemy has its hands on US-made TOW missiles. They are far more dangerous than the mortars. We're told these missiles can penetrate 800 centimetres--more than enough to penetrate their walls. Several soldiers die. There is a debate about what to do? Some want to leave the fort and fight--find who launched the missiles and kill them. The higher-ups simply add more concrete protection and wait for the evacuation.

Act III is about leaving the fort for good. Stripping it of what they can, ferrying out soldiers, and planting explosives to blow the place up.

The climax is predictable. With the push of a button, all the explosives go off and the fort blows up in a massive fireball. The direction of this action was poor. It was essentially one master shot. For such a critical moment in the film, I expected multiple camera angles with different views of what blew up. I fully expected a shot from inside the bunks but that never came.

I expected more because in previous explosion shots there was an element of realism that isn't usually found in feature films. Pieces of metal ripped by the screen in a way that was genuine and not computer generated.

The characters all speak Hebrew in this film--a language I don't know. The subtitles were a bit too fast to disappear. It's not that I'm a slow reader, it's that you want a chance to read the text and see the images--absorb the images and I found I didn't have enough time for both.

I knew Hebrew is a right to left language, but there was a discovery. Like almost all major languages, they use the Arabic number system, but the numbers are written left to right. For some reason I expected the numbers to be reversed. I also noticed a number of English language words have made their way into their language. Bullshit, shit and okay come to mind. There were a couple of others, but I can't remember them and didn't note them down.

Anytime a movie is made about war, it quickly becomes an issue of whether the film is a statement for war or against it. Given the retreat shown in the film, the soldiers' deaths, BEAUFORT an anti-war film.

Posted 2009/04/18 at 19h30ET in Movie Commentary.


Popular posts from this blog

Cast of Characters from The Protectors

Friday, September 16, 2011 ... Cast of Characters from The Protectors... M ost novels do not include a list of characters, although I have read some with them. Tolstoy readers would likely appreciate it. Plays do. Scripts don’t. Not sure what the thinking is, but I didn’t include it with my novel. I had a feeling I’d be shot if I had suggested it, but with the internet, I can provide such a list and here is the list of the major players in my first novel The Protectors (A Thriller).
Black Carr Security Consultants Limited Baird Carr, Former CIA Officer, Co-founder, OwnerEmerson Black, Former Secret Service Agent, Co-founder, OwnerSarah Bishop, Former FBI Agent, Senior ConsultantDebra Paeytonne, Office AdministratorBeth, ReceptionistStephen Tedeschi, Former Secret Service Agent, ConsultantNigel, Independent Consultant
U.S. Secret Service Ken Milton, DirectorRichard Heyward, Retired AgentJulian Constance, Agent, Killed in Assassination AttemptTrisha Evrington, AgentTerry Flannon, Agen…

Day 5—Writing a Novel—The Deep Blue Cage

Monday, November 21st, 2016 No work on the novel on Day 4. Note: Unedited writings from my notebook for this novel. Square bracket items represent added comments.
At 18:31 Office ... if I use Leänne instead of Leanne how will people react... Y esterday was Sunday and I took it off, plus I was dealing with some mental health issues. I know this story is something that is simply a matter of putting in the time to make it happen. I’m supposed to be working on it as much as I can but I haven’t been doing that. Two main reasons. It’s been a while since I’ve worked on a story. Then there’s the issues of my mental health. Things happen. I get down and it impacts on my writing. I might be using it as an excuse, but it’s clearly something I need to deal with. I have to find a schedule I can work with. Perhaps I need to put this first and cut out other things. Not sure but I will figure it out. A name for the hero came to me. For the moment going with Leanne or is it Leanna? Should be Le…

Writing a Novel–The Deep Blue Cage–Introduction

Thursday, March 9th, 2017 ... I fight my insecurities and doubts and I withdraw farther away from people and life ... I n November 2016 I started work on a new novel with the working title: The Deep Blue Cage. A few weeks after I started, I stopped. I was feeling too depressed about everything including the idea of writing a new novel. It happens to me at various times, with varying degrees, and it is debilitating. The ultimate issue was: Why bother? Why bother write another novel no one will read and no one will care about. I also found I was dreading the writing process more and more. It was painful to think about. I walked away and focused on other things. Or tried to. That didn’t work either. I felt trapped and unsure where I should head, what I should do. I even asked the big question, what the hell is life about anyway. There’s no one answer to this question despite the proclamations of some and because I believe I can think critically, can reason, I look at it from many a…