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ZERO MOTIVATION is more than just a terrific movie, it has also generated a meme that went viral in Israel. And I was lucky enough to speak with the meme herself, Nelly Tagar on December 15, 2014. The meme comes from the poster and features Tagar’s character, Daffi, holding a staplegun to her head in a putative suicide attempt. The serious absurdity of that image is the perfect summary of the film itself.
As for Tagar, she is a firecracker. Smart, funny, and opinionated. A question about gender equality in the Israeli military was the springboard to the position of women in society as a whole, and the sacrifices women make on the daily basis that men never confront. Gender differences also came up when she described the difference between male and female humor.
We went on to discuss her conviction that Louis C.K. isn’t just funny, but also enlightening, why her husband, filmmaker Eitan Sarid, doesn’t put her in his films, the truth in comedy, and how art can save the world.
Click here and here to see the images she showed me on her Facebook page.
ZERO MOTIVATION is a comedy about betrayal, suicide, and boredom as lived by the conscripts working the
administration desks of a remote Israeli army base. Tagar plays Daffi, the Paper and Paper Shredding NCO who dreams of transferring to Tel Aviv, and follows that dream by sending a deluge of snail mail requests to HQ begging for a transfer. When her replacement suddenly shows up without fanfare, she’s sure her dream has come true, but, alas, it’s just the first step in a series of misadventures that tests her mettle and her friendship with best pal Zohar, who has her own struggles with insanity, putative supernatural possession, and being the last woman on the base to lose her virginity. The film co-stars Dana Ivgy, Shani Klein, and Tamara Klingon. Taliya Lavie directed from her own script. It swept the Israeli Film Awards with six wins, as well as winning both the Best Narrative Feature and the Nora Ephron Prize at the Tribeca Film Festival.