Zero Motivation | Chicago Reader

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100 minutes · 2014

Comedy, Comedy drama, Drama
This wry Israeli comedy takes place in the administrative office of an isolated military base and follows several underachieving young women whose service consists of meaningless secretarial work. The premise sounds slight, but first-time writer-director Talya Lavie fleshes it out wonderfully, exhibiting a sharp sense of character and maintaining an impressive balance between humor and pathos. In fact this often turns surprisingly dark; the narrative complications include a suicide, an attempted rape, and at least two mental breakdowns. Late in the movie, one of the characters quotes Kafka at an office meeting, and to Lavie's credit the reference doesn't feel like overreaching. In Hebrew with subtitles.

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