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To See If I’m Smiling


Israel has the only army in the world to draw women for mandatory military service. Here, female soldiers share their perspective on a seemingly endless war and the moral challenges inherent in their relationship to the Palestinian population. The women look back critically at the way they handled the power that was placed in their young hands at the young age of eighteen and courageously answer the painful questions that were never asked during their time in the army. Did they really smile in these pictures?


  • Video Librarian
    A frank and haunting look at the dark side of the lives of female soldiers in the Israel Defense Force, this is recommended.
  • “The Special Jury Prize is given to a film that makes all of us face the question: could this be me? Would I behave this way? The director and protagonists share memories of a different and painful existence in a way that touches and challenges us and is relevant everywhere in the world.”
    Jury Statement, Hot Docs - Toronto, Canada 2008
  • “….An unusual cinematic experience, courageous, piercing and sharp, the film raises complicated ethical questions…”
    Jury Statement, Haifa International Film Festival, Israel 2007

Festival Participation

  • Haifa
    Best Documentary Award
  • IDFA
    Silver Wolf Award, Audience Award
  • Zagrebdox
  • Mexico City
  • Human Rights Watch Warsaw
    Best Documentary
  • Edinburgh
  • HotDocs
    Special Jury Award
  • San Francisco
  • Vancouver
  • Sydney
  • Melbourne
  • Seoul
  • Helsinki
  • Vienna
  • Full Frame

Additional Materials

Distribution Company

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