Sol­diers voices shine new light on vic­tory

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - Showtime - Broward - - MOVIES - By Robert Abele

Mor Loushy’s doc­u­men­tary “Cen­sored Voices” sets free a lost cho­rus from 1967’s Six Day War: record­ings made at the time by writer Amos Oz and ed­i­tor Avra­ham Shapira — sub­se­quently cen­sored by the Is­rael De­fense Forces — of Is­raeli sol­diers in the im­me­di­ate af­ter­math of that his­toric vic­tory over Egypt, Jor­dan and Syria.

In­ter­viewed at kib­butzim, th­ese men re­veal a deep, clear-eyed dis­sat­is­fac­tion with the eu­pho­ria they were sup­posed to ex­hibit, bound up in torn MPAA rat­ing: Not rated Run­ning time: 1:27 Opens: Fri­day feel­ings about killing, the treat­ment of pris­on­ers and the no­tion of con­querors be­com­ing an oc­cu­py­ing force. What started as de­fend­ing an ex­is­ten­tial threat be­came for th­ese van­quish­ers an in­ter­nal de­bate about what lay ahead for Is­rael, even as they fully ac­knowl­edged how grim the sit­u­a­tion would have been if they’d lost.

“Cen­sored Voices” is a soul de­brief­ing of sorts. The sol­diers’ tales of killing the cap­tured and up­root­ing en­tire vil­lages lead them to ques­tion whether the war was more about ex­pan­sion than sur­vival. Cap­ti­vat­ing news­reel footage from the con­flict un­der­scores th­ese au­dio con­fes­sion­als; Loushy also filmed the men in the present day, lis­ten­ing to their hon­est, open, decades-old tes­ti­monies.

Though many of the ex­pressed emo­tions are repet­i­tive, it feels de­lib­er­ate — a force­ful re­minder that in all the heated talk about land, history and des­tiny, there’s a coun­ternar­ra­tive about what hap­pens to peo­ple that should never be ig­nored.

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