The film takes place in the early 1950s, a few years after the War of Independence and the establishment of the State. Immigration to Israel is at its peak, transit camps are scattered throughout the country, there is poverty and rationing. Security is unstable with Fedayin terrorist attacks and IDF retaliation. Unit 101 is at the height of its glory.
This is the story of one platoon at training base 4, a 3-month boot camp for non-combatants, which begins during the hot summer days, through the high holidays and ends in winter.
The platoon is comprised of veterans from cooperative settlements, kibbutzes and towns, Ashkenaz Jerusalemites, new immigrants from N. Africa and Europe, holocaust survivors, non-religious and religious men. All the platoon members suffer from afflictions, are physically unfit or mentally disabled. They will find themselves on the extreme sidelines and for society and themselves, this is an intolerable tarnish.
The film deals with people at the bottom of the social ladder, whose dream it is to ascend to the top. As the story evolves, gaps are blurred until it is impossible to tell who is at the top of the ladder and who is at the bottom. Common concepts such as “melting pot”, “team spirit”, “one for all and all for one”, remain empty. This is a battle for the individual’s survival, a war for status, identity and independence. A battle to attain the loftiest dreams, a war waged by individuals against their destiny.
Script: Dover Kosashvilli and Ruven Hecker
Director of Photography: Amnon Salomon
Editing: Yael Perlov
Original Music: Joseph Bardanashvili
Art Director: Avi Fahima