VENICE, Italy — "Lebanon," an Israeli film that recounts Israel's 1982 invasion of the Middle East country through soldiers' eyes, won the top prize at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
The festival jury announced the Golden Lion and other prizes on the last day of the 11-day screening of films from around the world.
The anti-war film, directed by Samuel Maoz, tells the story of Israeli paratroopers searching a hostile town. The conflict is seen through the binocular-aided eyes of those aboard an armored vehicle.
"I dedicate this work to people all over the world that come back from the war safe and sound," the director told the audience at the award ceremony. "They work, get married, have children," but the memories get "stuck in their souls." Maoz was a young man when he served in the Israeli armed forces during the invasion.
The occupation led to a two-decades long occupation by Israel.
Variety has described the film as the "boldest and best of the recent mini-wave" of Israeli movies. The awards jury was headed by Ang Lee, himself a Golden Lion-winning director