Campfireportrays life in an Israeli settlement block as life in a submarine: strictly regimented, too narrow for privacy, and always at the point of implosion from incredible outside pressures. As a drama, the film is too untidy and tries too hard to broker international appeal with shallow comedy and romance. Whether or not it succeeds as an indictment of the settlement enterprise will depend entirely on the views you bring with you to the theater. But there's no question that director Joseph Cedar, a former resident of a West Bank settlement block, has no love lost for ultra-religious settlers chasing down the phantom dream of Eretz Israel, while never giving a thought to the butcher's bill.

categories Cinematical