While most Israeli films about the military deal with armed conflict, Talya Lavie looked away from the battlefield to capture the lives of the women holding down office jobs during their two years of mandatory service. Zero Motivation (2014), her debut feature, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival, where it was hailed as an absurdist comedy about the contrast between the central characters’ dreams and their boring day-to-day existence. The film won the festival’s Best Narrative Feature Award and the Nora Ephron Award for a distinctive woman filmmaker.
After studying at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design and the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in Jerusalem, Lavie released the three short films she had made during her studies. One of them, The Substitute (2006), served as a dress rehearsal for Zero Motivation, focusing on a female soldier’s final day of service. It won awards at the Berlin, Karlovy Vary and Palm Springs film festivals. Her most recent film, Honeymood (2020) deals with a wild night in Jerusalem for a pair of newlyweds. Lavie describes it as a look at what happens after the end of a typical romantic comedy.