Seeds of Summer (2008)
Seven years after completing an Israeli Defense Course for female combat soldiers, director Hen Lasker returns to take a deeper look at the place where she first fell in love with a woman. Over the course of 66 days and nights, Lasker shoots a fly-on-the-wall documentary that allows unprecedented intimacy into the lives of the trainees and commanders of the Israeli army. The dichotomy of the innocence of these baby-faced trainees with the heavy burden of military service is a central theme of the film, illustrated in a scene where they discuss losing their virginity while waiting their turn to fire a machine gun. But it is the director’s relationship with Smadar, a breathtaking commander struggling to mask her gentle soul with a strict military persona, which makes the film truly enchanting. The intersection of love, duty, and personal growth thrive through to the film’s surprisingly moving finish.