- Rich Cline, March 26, 2003
Rich Cline

Don't let the short running time fool you: this is one of the most satisfying and well-made gay romances we've seen in a long time, apparently based on the true story of two Israeli army officers. Yossi (Knoller) is the senior one, trying to maintain his macho image as a leader, while Jagger (Levi) is the music-loving life of the barracks. They sneak quite moments alone whenever they can--and when no one's likely to spot them. Jagger wants to tell the world about their love, especially since a female soldier (Steinovitz) is after him. While Yossi isn't sure he's ready to come out of the closet at all. But their relationship will be changed forever when they are sent out on a night raid.

Surprisingly for a film this short, the character are extremely well-drawn--not only the leads, but also the entire company. Each person has a role in the story, and each comes to life naturally. It's almost like a fly-on-the-wall documentary at times as we see army life behind the scenes. At the center, Yossi and Jagger are terrific characters, extremely well-played and generating strong responses both from the other characters and us as an audience. This film packs a real emotional punch, without ever resorting to manipulative movie trickery. It also wisely avoids the politics and concentrates on the camaraderie and barely suppressed longings and jealousies amongst the ranks. And the final scene is so tender and touching that you can hardly take it in. A lovely little gem of a film, well worth looking out for.