Zero Motivation, Talya Lavie’s 2014 film satirizing life in the IDF, was one of the most successful Israeli films in years. Wittily dark and uncompromising in its skewering of mandatory service time, Zero Motivation was, as put best by Amos Barshad, “the Best (Israeli Army) (Apolitical) (Noncombat) (Black) Comedy of the Year.” Now, it’s set to be introduced to a wider English-speaking audience.
After seeing the film at Tribeca, comedians Amy Poehler (SNL) and Natasha Lyonne (Orange Is the New Black) bought the TV rights, reported Haaretz, and they’re currently in Israel to hammer out the details of that adaptation for BBC America. Lavie and Israeli producer Elon Ratzkovksy will executive produce, alongside Brook Posch, most recently of Broad City, another Poehler vehicle. Ratzkovsky, speaking to Haaretz, said: “Ever since the film came out, we have received endless approaches from Israel and around the world about adapting it into just about every possible format… The connection with Amy and Natasha seems to us to be the best fit with the spirit of the movie.”
Zero Motivation—which is available on Netflix!—won numerous accolades on the festival circuit, including the Best Narrative Feature for Lavie at Tribeca in 2014. The interwoven stories of solitude and camaraderie on a nameless Negev base resonated with viewers, while the all-too-relatable comedy of dysfunctional office supplies and self-important superiors keeps the story from despair. Poehler and Lyonne come from comedy backgrounds, so it remains to be seen how their interpretations of the movie will look. Whatever they may be, the series should be something to see.
Jesse Bernstein is a former Intern at Tablet.