The Alpha Diaries by Yaniv Berman takes you into the world of the israeli reservist, and shows you most of the reservist hate what they do, and how it
effects them mentally, and also shows you they are forced to do what they do and how they understand how they are terrorising the women children and
doesn't sit well with them.
It's a real honest documentary by an israeli soldier, and shows a side you don't normally see.
An unprecedented, groundbreaking and voyeuristic look into military reserve life in Israel, this film was shot over a 5 year period in director
and reserve soldier Yaniv Berman's life.
A soldier in the Israeli army reserves, Alpha Company, Berman had unparalleled access and filmed the soldiers as they went about their military
service day and night. Crossing over to the Palestinian border the camera captured remarkably every movement of the soldiers from the frenetic
night-time house arrests to the quiet moments of self reflection and despair.
Capturing the humiliation of both the Palestinians who are subject to the house arrests as well as the Israeli soldiers who had to carry them out,
this documentary is the unique story of those who every 30 days in the year drop their normal lives and under the guise of the olive green uniform,
perform the toughest, most unsettling tasks, in the heart of an urban Palestinian town.
The camera penetrates the steely barriers of the military barracks and gains fresh insight into the views of the soldiers who speak frankly and
uncompromisingly on a range of issues including the occupation, the conflict and the Army. A sensitive exploration of the conflict done first hand
from an individual caught in the midst of the action, Berman's film leaves us with no doubt that war leaves scars and victims on both sides of the
On April 2002 I started my photographic journey with Alpha company.
The holiday just began and we all had our plans for the free days to come. But after a shocking terrorist attack on Passover eve, the government
issued a special order to recruit the reserve units and send them into the Palestinians towns. The military operation was called “Defensive
My regiment was sent into Bethlehem, where we fought for three weeks. When I had my first chance to take the camera with me I started filming our
actions, and I kept doing it for 5 years. In 2007 I took all the stock of footage and made it into a documentary called “The Alpha Diaries”.
In Israel you have to go to the army when you become 18. It's three years of full, hard service, when you are asked to be a soldier beyond the border
lines of Israel, in the midst of the Palestinian territories. After that, when you're 21, you return to your normal life, leaving it all behind, and
you erase your memory of those three years. And then you begin your life. But not so fast...
In a country under constant threat, your duty doesn't end there; it continues with the mandatory Reserves Service. In March 2002 a war started, and I
was drafted to the reserve forces. I was greeted into Alpha Company, where I found myself a soldier once again. We left our lives behind, riding on
the dusty roads into the inferno. I took my camera with me, and it never left my side for 5 years. In one hand was the M-16, the LAU on my back, and
with the other hand, holding on as if my life depended on it..
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