Israeli film about female soldiers a hit at Turkish festival despite strained ties

The English-language poster for "Zero Motivation." Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

( An Israeli film about female Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers has had a successful run at the Istanbul International Film Festival despite strained diplomatic relations between the Jewish state and Turkey.

"Zero Motivation" tells the story of a female IDF unit at a remote desert base.

"It was exciting seeing Israeli humor, especially military humor, cracking up the Turkish audience,” said Israeli Deputy Consul General in Istanbul Ohad Avidan Kaynar regarding the film, which was screened three times at the Turkish festival.

"Military terms crossed the border and created laughter and excitement in Turkey,” he said.

The film's stars, Israeli actresses Dana Ivgy and Nelly Tagar, attended its third screening in Istanbul. At the festival, Tagar had a conversation with Iranian filmmaker Ayat Najafi.

"We started talking—about Iran, about Lausanne (where the framework nuclear agreement was reached), about Yemen, a bit about [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, a bit about [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan," Tagar said, Yedioth Ahronoth reported. "And then we spoke about films, about Gondi (a Persian Jewish dish), about Isfahan, about Tel Aviv, about parties, and about girls. And then we hugged and pretty much solved the conflict.”

Israeli-Turkish relations deteriorated following the May 2010 incident in which militants attacked IDF soldiers who boarded a Turkish flotilla that attempted to break the blockade on Gaza. Nine Turkish citizens were killed in clashes with the Israeli soldiers.

Posted on April 14, 2015 .