June Zero Movie Review

When June Zero begins, you have no idea what’s coming.

If you haven’t watched the trailer or read anything about it, you can assume from what you see that it’s a story about a troubled boy learning some serious lessons about life. Well, in essence, that is what this narrative ends up being, but in a roundabout way. The timing of June Zero couldn’t be more perfect considering the political climate of the day. But I’ll leave that type of talk here.


At the heart of this story is the trial of Adolf Eichmann who was one of the major masterminds of the Holocaust during the Second World War. He facilitated some of the cruelest acts in human history by putting millions of Jews in Nazi extermination camps. He saw to it that they were murdered on his command. Set in 1961, David (Noam Ovadia), who’s Jewish, but has just moved from Libya to Israel and doesn’t know who Eichmann is, is tormented by his teacher for not knowing the history of the Nazis and their treatment of the Jewish people. This is an incredibly important time for Jewish people everywhere, so in class, he and the other students are listening to Eichmann’s trial.

“If we don’t learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat it.”


David, who has sticky fingers, gets a much-needed job at a factory that makes ovens. He accidentally overhears his boss, whose prison is holding Eichmann until sentencing, and a policeman talk about how Eichmann can meet his end. His boss wants to do it himself by burning him alive. “His screams will be more beautiful than Wagner.” David is discovered and almost killed himself. This is a very dramatic moment.

The film is directed by Jake Paltrow from The Good Night (which starred his sister Gwyneth). He did a good job of making the film look and feel the time period it’s set in. If I hadn’t known better, I would have thought I was watching a movie from the 1960s. The score, particularly during a scene when Eichmann’s death could occur at any moment but wasn’t something you were at all confident about, is gorgeous. He was getting a haircut by someone who had every reason to jab his scissors into Eichmann’s pulsating neck. The scene was remarkable, but not all are. More fervent moments like this are needed to make this a true piece of art. The account of the largely broadcasted, most watched trials of a Nazi criminal is approached seemingly objectively by Paltrow until you realize the behavior of the guards and the reason an oven is being constructed.


This is a good film. The acting by young Noam Ovadia is memorable. You’ll be seeing more of him in the coming years.  The approach of the main storyline is unique and captivating, as most films about the Nazis and the Second World War seem to be. The choice to center some of the story on Haim (Yoav Levi), a Jew who’s the main prison guard of Eichmann, is key. I’ll say the struggle about what to do with a monster who doesn’t deserve any humanity is very much felt throughout the film, earning “June Zero” the description of “see once.” You won’t regret the time you give to Paltrow’s historical piece that he shot in super 16mm for a more authentic feel.

June Zero

Directed by: Jake Paltrow
Written by: Jake Paltrow, Tom Shoval

Starring: Koby Aderet, Adam Gabay, Tzahi Grad

Runtime: 1h 45m
Genres: Drama, History

Distributed by: Cohen Media Group



tmc.io contributor: ShariK.Green tmc
I'm the Sr. Film Writer and Community Manager for tmc.io. I write, direct and produce short films with my production company, Good Stew Productions. Though it's difficult to answer this question when asked, I'd say my favorite movie is “The Big Chill.” I enjoy photography, poetry, and hiking and I adore animals, especially elephants. I live in Arizona and feel it's an outstanding and inspirational place to live.

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