TJFF 2019: Our Review of ‘My War Hero Uncle’

TJFF 2019: Our Review of ‘My War Hero Uncle’

There are stories about deceased family members that are sometimes left unquestioned and unanswered. In the case of Shaked Goren’s My War Hero Uncle, sometime secrets seem to uncover mysterious truths about someone personally close to you, even if you’ve never met them before.

Goren feels his family’s looming absence of an uncle, Ami, that supposedly died in the line of duty during the 1967 Six-Day War, but when he tries to claim benefits from the government on behalf of his grandmother because of her status as a bereaved mother of an IDF (Israel Defense Forces) soldier that “fell in the wars of Israel,” the request is denied because Ami did not die on the battlefield, but rather from, as it is stated later in the documentary, suicide. Goren sets out to piece the puzzle together in order to understand who his uncle was, the circumstances that led to his demise, and why certain people decided to cover up his suicide.

As he interviews his grandmother, mother, fellow soldiers and workers that were on the kibbutz his uncle was stationed at during the Six-Day war, and an alleged love interest, the truth becomes clearer to Goren. So much so that by the end of his journey, he is able to come to terms with revealing a secret to his grandmother.

My War Hero Uncle is a documentary that tries to understand the price of what it means to keep a secret in order to maintain a narrative. It’s a powerful personal reflection of family history.

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Marc is just like any other film reviewer on the Internet, screaming into the endless void of interconnected social media...except he does not use Twitter that much. Having worked on various feature films, shorts, web series, and music videos, Marc has also worked on the distribution end of the film industry. His love for David Bowie and Nicolas Cage is only rivaled by his affinity for the movie going experience, which to him is like going to Temple (or ciné-gogue as he puts it,) where the film is gospel and the seats are just as uncomfortable. He lives in Toronto.
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