My Unit - The Backbone of the IDF

While the vast majority of Israeli citizens are drafted for military service in the IDF, it is only a small portion of them that serve in front line combat units. The ratio is approximately 10 support staff to one combat soldier. Following their service, Israelis are then obligated to serve in the reserve for the better part of the next 20 years, give or take, however the reality is that it is mostly the combat troops that serve regularly. And in those units, it is often the same faces that show up from year to year.

In My Unit, we follow filmmaker Oded Zur, who served as a sniper in the Paratroopers Brigade, and is now a reservist. We accompany him and his comrades in arms as they train, patrol and carry out their missions. But it is not specifically the missions that captures our interest, but rather the connection that is made between these citizen soldiers as year after year they meet up, reconnect and argue the same arguments, debate the same debates. We see as they grow and change, from the veterans at the end of their service to the youngsters just beginning.

The film follows the unit from 2002 until the Second Lebanon War in 2006. Security wise, this was a difficult time for Israel and Zurs reserve unit was caught up in the middle of it. This film, about one reserve company, is a reall microcosm of the IDF reservist experience. While the specific individuals are unique to this unit, it would not be surprising to find the same types in other reserve companies. With a small standing army, these reservist serve as the backbone of the IDF, regularly leaving their lives and loved ones behind to defend their country. Even when they question the motives.

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