In her first feature film, director Talya Lavie has created a quirky, yet brilliant, comedy/satire which takes place in the human resources office (run by female soldiers) on an Israeli military base in the Negev desert. Zero Motivation takes place during an earlier period before smartphones and before the army was fully computerized.
The story deals with the ridiculous and mindless paper pushing jobs often given to the young women. But more importantly, the film is about gender in the military. These young women are assigned to serve coffee and cookies to the male officers who are actually running the show. Also, the most insightful and critical scenes in the film portray issues of gender -- one deals with unrequited love and its potential consequences and the other with attempted rape.
This is not a sophisticated film, in fact, much of the behavior of the young women can be characterized as childish, catty and whining, and much of the script seems so predictable. But, it is an insightful satirical comment about the army. When these women wield their automatic weapons -- staple guns -- watch out! It is certainly an enjoyable farce which lends insight into the situation of females in the Israeli military.
Zero Motivation was a prizewinner at Tribeca and is available from the Match Factory.