This is the Das Boot of tank movies. Shot entirely inside an Israeli tank as it enters Lebanon during the 1982 war/invasion, it follows the stories of the tank crew and of the ground unit commander who pops in and out of the tank to order, conjole, confront and generally fuel the crew's emotions at various times throughout the movie.
All of the shots of the world outside the tank are seen onscreen through the viewfinder (think submarine periscope) and is is both jarring and such a genius way of filming war scenes. The skirmish scenes are that much more jarring as seen through this "lens."
The acting is first-rate all around. The star of the movie really is the tank itself. The tank is as near as I can describe it the living embodiment of what seems to be the set of Eraserhead in tank form--walls drip with moisture and what looks like a mossy mold develops on equipment over the course of the tank's journey. The camera lurches, rattles and rolls in tandem with the tank's movements along the countryside and cityscape terrain. It's almost as if you can smell the diesel fuel in every scene.
Amazing, amazing storytelling and cinematography. One of the best war movies in a slew of great war movies and documentaries in this early part of the 21st century.
Oh, the movie is in a mixture of Hebrew, Arabic and English with English subtitles.