IDF soldiers in Samaria
IDF soldiers in SamariaIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Israel screen director Yariv Horowitz was beaten unconscious Thursday by a group of Arab youths as he exited the screening of his film, "Rock the Casbah," at the Aubagne film festival in France. He received treatment and eventually went back to the film competition and received the Jury's Special Prize for Best Film.

In addition, Assaf Amdursky won a prize for the film's soundtrack.

The film takes place in 1989, at the height of the "First Intifada" in Gaza. An IDF unit is attacked by local Arabs, and one of the soldiers is killed when an Arab throws a washing machine on him from the roof of a building. The soldiers are then stationed on the same roof and come into contact with the family of the murderer. The film describes the soldiers' stint and the difficulties and dilemmas they face.

According to reports from Aubagne, it is not clear if the attackers knew that he was Israeli. However, these reports themselves could be biased.

A review of the film in Variety says that "in contrast with classic Israeli war films, the script refuses to idealize the Israeli Defense Forces or demonize the rock-throwing Palestinians. It focuses instead on the soldiers’ human needs and desires (some good food, sleep, a toilet) and their fears. Likewise, the Palestinian family, albeit sketchily drawn, is depicted as both human and humane."

According to a review in Screendaily "Not really interested in creating a plot with actual human relations and character development, the script is put together like a collage of TV reports, meandering from one predictable incident to the next until it suddenly reaches its climactic conclusion in which it suggests that given the right circumstances, even the most dedicated peacenik is bound to pull the trigger."