Israeli film wins top prize at Venice

By Jessica Elgot, September 14, 2009
Director Samuel Moaz

Director Samuel Moaz

An Israeli film, set inside a tank during the 1982 Lebanon war, has won the top honour at the Venice film festival.

The Golden Lion for best film went to Lebanon, directed by Samuel Moaz, which is based on the director’s own traumatic experiences in the army when he was a gunner.

It is the highest honour an Israeli film has ever received.

It took Mr Moaz more than 25 years to commit his traumatic experiences to writing, because he was physically sick every time he remembered his war years.

On presentation of his award, Mr Moaz said: "I dedicate this work to people all over the world that come back from the war safe and sound."

The award comes as controversy dogged the Toronto Film Festival, Venice’s biggest rival festival, where industry figures including Jane Fonda and Ken Loach wrote letters expressing their disapproval of a section of the Toronto Festival which celebrates Tel Aviv.

Last updated: 2:55pm, September 14 2009