The Alpha Diaries

The Alpha DiariesAn unprecedented, groundbreaking and voyeuristic look into military reserve life in Israel, this film was shot over a 5 year period in director and reserve soldier Yaniv Berman's life.

A soldier in the Israeli army reserves, Alpha Company, Berman had unparalleled access and filmed the soldiers as they went about their military service day and night.

Crossing over to the Palestinian border the camera captured remarkably every movement of the soldiers from the frenetic night-time house arrests to the quiet moments of self reflection and despair.

Capturing the humiliation of both the Palestinians who are subject to the house arrests as well as the Israeli soldiers who had to carry them out, this documentary is the unique story of those who every 30 days in the year drop their normal lives and under the guise of the olive green uniform, perform the toughest, most unsettling tasks, in the heart of an urban Palestinian town.

The camera penetrates the steely barriers of the military barracks and gains fresh insight into the views of the soldiers who speak frankly and uncompromisingly on a range of issues including the occupation, the conflict and the Army.

A sensitive exploration of the conflict done first hand from an individual caught in the midst of the action, Berman's film leaves us with no doubt that war leaves scars and victims on both sides of the camp.

Watch the full documentary now

Ratings: 8.00/10from 21 users.

More great documentaries

50 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Arturas

    Hopefully one day they will be held responsible for deaths of thousands of Palestinians, children, elderly and women included.

    After suffering so much during WW2 how can they do this to others? Israeli = terror state. This "doc" should be removed. #freepalestine

  2. Larpan

    Superb!! These kinds of documantary films are rare and so precious.

  3. koderius

    by the way> the chef in the film now owns a very friendly and nice restaurant called "the basel congress" in tel aviv - who attracts many ppl from all walks of life who seat and talk politics every lunch time. i eat there a lot - and so does other arab people . none of us like to come into palestinian homes or conquer their lives. so u can take your claims to the UN ,US and other arab countries for this ongoing farce.

  4. Ken

    The video "Diary", was just that...a video record of the experiences of ONE soldier! It was not meant to be a comprehensive synopsis of the myriad issues involved in this decades old conflict. by definition one of the most insane undertakings that the HUMAN animal can engage in...we are ALL capable of the most heinous of actions, if pushed far enough. The state of Israel was made from the ashes of the Holocaust. The state of Israel earned, through the crucible of fire, the right to live in a place whereby they will not be persecuted by a predominantly Christian/Muslim world. EARNED the right! Not one of you have EARNED the right to question them. Today, they are continually attacked and atomized by enemies. Those of us that have answered the call(I am a wounded American vet), and have stood our turn against the evil in this world understand. I wouldn't expect any of you to understand. Evil exists in all of us, and the most that we can hope for is to try every day of our short lives to fight our urges. If our country suffered the same treatment and the Israeli's, there'd be a smoking crater in the ground where the attack originated from...and I say that anyone who denies a person the right to exist, simply because of ideological differences, and than explodes themselves as an act of defiance, forfeits any right to live in this world.

    1. fratdawgg23

      Israel has F-16s, Apache gunships and nukes; Israel is *not* the victim.
      Every US war post-WWII has been a dishonorable war of aggression to enrich the anti-democratic psychopathic One-Percent.

  5. Nakor

    Sorry, but that troop swings his sledgehammer like a girl.

  6. Trevis Robotie

    truly sick to my stomach!what kinda life is this?!

  7. raymon v

    tough guys ??? yea, they are doing to the poor palestinians what the
    nazis did to them. Dont worry this world is a cycle,what goes around comes around

  8. kiran watwani

    I didn't see this as a justification of Israeli aggression at all! What is everyone talking about. it has little to do with the politics which by the way is way more complicated than any of us outsiders will ever understand. Also, I don't think "good Jewish boys" means anything.. boys are boys in most cultures.. and I'm saying this as a woman. Maybe it will change but its difficult when its not specifically on the agenda I think. I do not think they come across as macho. Its like the guy with the magazine said, they are getting dehumanized. And I actually do think his attitude is ahead of it's time, as he says ironically. He was quite funny in a sad way. But yes, the chef may be the most human and least jaded.

  9. seasidepress

    The only sane soldier was the chef. To all those soldiers out there: You come across as macho, revved up brainwashed m*rons. At least treat the women and children with respect. Good Jewish boys, huh? What a myth.

  10. Patric

    lemme tell you what... P.S to isreals, let's say that palestine soldiers were stronger than isreali's soldiers and we did the same to you, would you guys like it? would you guys like being searched every night at what? 4am? look at the kids who are scared and horrified, why's everyone forgetting the fact that we are humans as well.

    1. seasidepress

      arabs keep saying to jews we're going to kill you. so what do you expect?
      fight back by getting elected.

  11. Mordecai Melamed

    The tiger from Manila ate too much dog pinacbit....

  12. Lubog Na Ang Pilipinas

    Israel and the Jews are the greedy bloodsuckers in this world. They created the bible and so the lies started from then on to this day. Jews are liars, murderers, greedy pigs, warmakers, war profiteers and greedy bankers who own us all.

    1. LordOfLuck

      Of course. They are secretly working with the Illuminati to make the one world government. Soon the secret city of Atlantis will rise, and the ancient astronauts will rise to end the world and fulfill the Prophecy made by the Mayan calendar..... Tool.

  13. Lastviewer

    It tells a lot. One thing above all is what we learned about humankind.
    Not more than 2 generations back, the jewish nation experienced how low disgusting beasts can stoop. Talking 'bout the NAZI era.
    Viewing this movie, one ought to realize that humankind never learn!
    The "Never Again" propaganda was a hoax to this nation.

    It's not even a matter of justice & self integrety but rather a matter of self respect. Especially when it comes to war crime.
    Speaking of which, are they contestant to the USA war crimes affair for the Ginness record? Worst, so much worst than any Ayatola ever known.

    And you know what? They train their youngster into race hatred, I seen it in another documentary. Nice way to prepare whatver God coming down here!

    Summary? Disgusting bullies at the hand of psychoparths.

    1. sinan yilmaz

      Well put. Just what exactly does "never again" mean? I guess for the zionists it means that never again will we be the ones being massacred. Yup they have taken the initiative, they are now the ones bullyin people around, creating gettos, "liquidating" their enemies as they see fit.

    2. Lastviewer

      Sinan Yilmaz,
      Yes, But only wanted to comment that racism is merely (Fake) a pretexte to ponder other wealth. That is as old as human society.
      And not to one or a few nations. Today, I viewed a good documentary named "The Secret Iraq Files" (From aljazeera) on BBC network in which a Middle East scientist of some sort claimed to be of the "Hashemite" nation. Sort of Midle East jewish native clan.
      I know, cause we have a community of Hachemite in the region here.

      Being native from the Midle East (As opposed to the "Returning" Russians, Americans, etc Jews in Israel) Hashemites recognize their roots with the native Arab from the Middle East.
      Up to a point where I seen another docu in which many "Distinctive" Rabbie Hachemites where manufesting in NYC against the kilkings anb expulsion of the Palestinians from their ancestor land.
      Isn't that weird?
      Claiming that whaver is written in their Bible (Thora) regarding the gift of the land over this land "Their God" made to them will become a reality at the end of time as "Their God" will be back on earth.

      In short, there are good & abusing peoples in every nation.
      And it is indeed a shock to see that fact as one remember the end of WWII compared to what the Jewish Gov does in present years.
      "Their God", whatever God it or he can be since everyone has made such a mess out of religion, would never ever tolerate such fanatics in its of his kngdom.

      It is easy to see too many israelian soldiers taking pleasure out of abusing other human beings.
      Not necesserely in this movie but so many others.
      As disgusting as any NAZI champion anyone could dream of.
      Its on tape and in humankind history.

    3. sinan yilmaz

      Actually the hashemite arabs calim descent from the house of hashim (ibn hashim). The clan of the Islamic prophet. During the later stages of WWI when lawrence was roaming the are he contacted Sherif Ali (the father of the hashemite kings of jordan, syria, iraq and hejaz. The al saud kicked them out of what is now saudi arabia, revolutions in syria and iraq ended their rules there. Now the only hashemite kingdom remaining is jordan. There are three distinct major jewish groups in israel, far as I know. One is the middle eastern jews. The ones that have lived there for almost ever (discounting roman expulsion). They've actually lived side by side with all other racial and religious groups in the region, in peace more or less. Of course there have been periods where no peace existed, for example the crusades, mongol invasion etc etc, when they, along with muslims and arabs were massacred by whoever was doing the massares. Then there are the safardi's. Who were expelled from the iberian peninsula and were welcomed by the ottomans, they too have lived in peace, more or less. The last are the Ashkanazi, jews of europe and russia... they arrived after wwII, they are by far the majority of the zionists. They unfortunately are the ones that refuse to live in peace with their neighbors. They are much, if not more responsible for the state of things as hamas and other palestinian groups are. They are the reason that there is an apertheid type regime in place in israel.

    4. Lastviewer

      Sinan Yilmaz,

      Good thing to clarify this. We rarely see docu that explain this.
      Or for the least, the docu is obviously biaised. Whenever I'll see a proper docu, I'll have a second look over that.
      What I already knew was up to close to WWI while I guess that I'm well aware of what followed.
      All in all, I wanted to make a point about the fact that the real "Indigenous" Jews (Middle East) are in fact close relatives (Family if one tracks history) to the "Indigenous" Moslems.
      On such a small territory, there cannot be so many ancestors.
      It's just religion that took them apart.

      Religions based on "Prophet's Words" that have the same goals as individuals like US Vice Powell = Born Liars and abusers who just could't care less about human faith. & They fight, again & again.
      The only difference is that it used to take centuries before objective verifications could bring a light.

      One thing is sure, if "Their God", whatever God it can be (Moslem, Jewish or any other) cares a little 'bout this world, they'll all be the last ones to access a better world if there is any!
      Just think twice about it: -They prey before slaying a prey but just couldn't even care less 'bout slaying a human being!

      About the americans? What the heck have they've been doing since at least WWI except backing up the Germans, sheltering NAZI war criminals, destroying democracies all over the globe?
      It is fully well documented and corroborated.
      Before solving the Jewish abuses, the world will late or soon have to solve the problem with the USA!
      Anybody would rather not see any of this.
      The 1 thou's year Reich Reign may well have morphed.
      Anyhow, are you real convince that either Bush or Powell or the common citizen really care 'bout humankind faith?


    5. David Rodrigues

      no Sinan you are rong becouse you forget that when the first zionists
      went from egipt to palestina,allready people lived there... (zionists are the ones that did that journey and there descendants) and does people that lived there recived them very well after that they produced the moust shamefull books in history tora bible etc and said god gave them the land of course after second world war they used that to still the land from palestine people theres no way about it israel shouldnt exist and all israel people are thieves

    6. Lastviewer

      David Rodrigues,
      - Zionists went from Egypt to Palestine???

      Come on! The term, expression "Zionist" didn't exist in those days.

      1) That "Concept" didn't exist in those days. It came from some Russians at the beginning of the 21st century. And it is mostly this russian descent individuals that the palestinians are stucked with.
      "Mostly" also mean the most zealous israelians that push the abusal forward. As the 21st century went on, many other "Exiled" jews from all over the world got into the social move of abusing the arabic peoples, and especially in Palestine.

      2) "Most shameful books in history"? I know of a few other ones that fully deserve that qualitative term.
      It is easy to understand that many, most if not all human beings once shown (In history) that "Him" and only him has "Special" contacts and acquaintances with whatever or who ever God created or lead this world we live in.
      Just as if "They've been born to teach the unknown.
      While the "Obvious rules" are so simples: "Don't hurt someone else".
      If one abuse a neighbor? Kill anyone? Steal others, fools around with other women, etc...? Does anyone needs a doctoral to understand this?
      Frankly, all religions were pushed and fitted to so many individuals that it is sure sense to take them all very lightly.
      Whoever God there can be, he'll take care of his business.

      Lastly, the jewish problem didn't take its bad turn by the end of WWII or by the end of it. Have you heard of the Balfour declaration?
      Before WWI (Not WWII), the arabic and native jews in the middle east used to have a happy or for the least "Tolerant" way of life.

      Again, once more within the history of humankind, the material world was the guide-line: -What do we eat for supper and where will we be living next year? In short; -Came a time during World War One where the British had sort of a $.$$ liquidity problem...
      They were unable to properly handle their "Possessions" abroad and especially in the Middle East.

      In those days, the word "Terrorism" was born through the actions of some of the new Zionist movement that had the goal to send back the UK Army home to fight the german. After they won with the aid of the "Allieds", they were in a serious financial problem.
      Lord Balfour had only one thing in mind at the time he published his famous declation: - $.$$ for that matter.

      Fact is: Each time a palestinian family is expulsed of its historical housing so that a jewish settler can take over the property, the jewish settler is subsidized by the Israelian government. And an important sum of money, close to a lifetime saving.

      And do you have any idea where does this money comes from???
      The "Land of the Free". The sum of human care the US give to the rest of other needy countries is just below the amount US tax payers give to the Israeli Gov!
      US biggest income:=> Producing arms, guns and political hoaxes for war mongering. The list of their deeds all over the world is endless.

      I viewed doc where England (In those days) was living in fear of some Northern nations from (In now days) Sweden or Denmark.
      Did last many centuries. The 2 nations later fused together.
      And that was before the Roman...

      If you live in a place where you don't need to fear savages, you're in luck!

    7. Christine Massey

      I think people refuse to be realistic about the situation in Israel with the Palestinians.The Arabs want them all gone out of Palestine.They have every intention of killing them or as they say push them into the sea.They will take nothing less than them all gone, completely.So,for all of you smart people on here where will they go?Who will take them in.We are talking about millions of human beings.Really where will they go?Every country surrounding them want them gone also.What would you do if you were in their situation?Jump into the sea voluntarily?All of the smart Americans commenting on here do you guys even have a clue as to what we would do to the people of Canada if they were sending suicide bombers and shooting rockets into our country? We would wipe them off of the map.We would totally annihilate them.Lest we forget that we do have the stomach to drop atomic bombs.I actually respect the Koran and I have respect for the Jews.I do not agree with what they are doing to the Arabs,but they will not even meet them half way.But,Arabs have tribal mentalities and will never stop until they (Jews) are gone,or the Arabs are gone.

  14. Incognito


  15. Incognito


  16. Qb1T

    Hey Atheometer, does the JIDF pay 50c a comment too?

  17. 1_Aethiometer

    DID ANYONE UNDERSTAND THE MEANING OF THIS FILM? It's NOT about the political issues it's about the people. I read comments about oh how terrible to break into houses, did you not hear how much the soldier's hated it? BUT the Terrorist live there also and the innocent pay. They go into houses of people who KNOW these Terrorist. Did you not see the immediate medical care and attention that was given to the TERRORIST they caught? THIS WAS NOT ABOUT POLITICS IT WAS ABOUT PEOPLE How they live their families their LIVES these are reservist who leave their NORMAL REGULAR LIVES to fight against terrorism READ THE ABOVE STORY BEFORE THE VIDEO. I served for 10 years and regardless of my political views or how I felt I DID what I was told. What I saw in that video is EXACTLY what we do, to explain the the who, what, where and why of the politics behind it or the military stratify would take way to long. This documentary didn't tell you the who, what, where and why because IT'S NOT ABOUT THAT. We we are NOT just soldiers machines we have feeling, opinions, families we are humans. This documentary is about the people not the politics.

    The more comments I read the more I think, maybe only soldiers understand. It's sad to see that all people can seem to think about is the political aspect. The first thing I learned in my Cultural Anthropology class is what is considered "The Golden Rule" NEVER Judge a culture to your own. In America we don't have to worry about suicide bombers on a daily basis, heck we don't even worry about terrorism a daily basis, do you remember how 9-11 felt? try living everyday in fear of being attacked, your children, wives, husbands worrying about being blown up at the Starbucks or the market?, or your children when they are on the bus coming home from school? well that is what it is like in the middle east. Not just for Jews and Arabs but for the ALL the innocent people. When you go to the Airport and spend hours in security is it worth it? ARE YOUR LIVES WORTH THE INCONVENIENCE? If a soldier had to check my house because someone I knew might be involved in terrorism, I'd be more concerned if I had enough refreshment. I have NOTHING to hide, and if I'm eliminated as a "suspect" freeing them "come on in". How judgmentally, self righteous people can be when they are on the outside looking in. Tisk Tisk

    1. Yaver Kamer

      Who are you to be engaging us in any kind of discussion Sir? You obeyed orders for 10 years without questioning and now suddenly you see yourself as a decent human being, worthy of an opinion, of expression, of discussion? To me you are puppet, you are the slave of your fear, conformism and indifference. Any debate with you will be disrespectful to the decent people who refuse to take part in your war machine and have to pay greatly for their disobedience. Shame on you!

    2. sinan yilmaz

      I'm sure that any justification that can be made of the IDF reservists depicted here could have been, and probably was made by the werchmacht or waffen troopers in say Warsaw, or Krakov or wherever. I'm sure that they too hated rounding up Jews, having to shoot civilians etc etc etc. They too were caught up in a war and just following orders. Right.....

  18. slpsa

    There is no excuse for the type of behavior shown in this documentary. There is no middle ground to argue the sadness of treating another human being the way they do. Any human being can understand the raids foster resentment and anger. The fact they kick in doors, scare women and children says it all. No human being can feel good about this. There are many Israeli's who do not support this. Their voices are not heard for the most part. As with any Country, we should not equate a people to a Government. That can be said of many problems we are presently witnessing around the World. Take your pick of which Country has a population who's majority does not agree with their Governments foreign policy. Or internal policy. This is apartheid, but worse. It is what it is. How to deal with it and end it has been a tough nut to crack for generations. It is no easy answer, nor a bloodless one.

  19. 1_Aethiometer

    How can you not, they were NOT arresting Arabs because they were Arabic. The translation missed allot. Plus they treated them far better that they treat American or Israeli, did you miss the deep concern for the terrorist they caught when he was ill. This documentary didn't deal with the politics I wasn't meant to YOU MISSED THE WHOLE POINT!! as did so many and its such a shame because it was so beautiful, real people their lives their feelings. The ONLY way to understand the political relationship is to go live there.

  20. Yaver Kamer

    I felt ashamed watching them raid those houses, I can't comprehend how a decent human being can actually take part in the raid itself.

    1. 1_Aethiometer

      Umm does Terrorism ring a bell?

  21. MoBasso

    I notice these guys did not want to be there on duty yet they seem to enjoy
    themselves, its no wonder isreal is terorizing women and children .. for more than fifty years the global community gave isreal a card blanch to take revenge from hitler by killing palistinians and useing their resources.. yes awareness is in the air and shadow forces are being exposed, and people are raising eye brows to the only accupation in the civilized 21st century.

  22. norlavine

    Insanity x

  23. bbson

    boring, boring with guys that like guys...lack of morality and compassion for human life and culture. Yeah, whats the bloodypoint? to start a new war in Israel? It seems Israel and Palestine are all bunch of crazy religious nuts anyway, like the far right GOP. Goofy man! Bunch of gd idiots, braggarts and charlatans. Its like someone who brags about deeds they never did, buncha gd BS! Did you see the smirk on the guy that looks like a fag? They all need to be slapped around by their wives and kicked in the ass by their dads. I agree with Del, and you call these guys heroes?
    Like the bullshit cowboy with hat and boots and a sway in his walk that can't fight his way out of a paper bag. Like the snotty rich kid who runs to tell on you first even though he/she started the problem. What a joke!
    I commend the docmentary to show some truth of what life is like for the Israeli reserve soldier. They know they're living a life of lies in fatigues and want out. So now what? Do the war mongers want to bomb them too to keep greasing the wheels of the war machine for $, profit and prosperity for themselves? I guess thats the bloody point. Anarchy and hate blocks the love we all so desparately need at this time.

  24. PeterMaskell

    This justifies my negative view of Israeli policy toward the Palestinian people. They accomplish very little w/these intrusions other than create more hostility.

    1. Ed

      No peter, you're wrong. Civilization has in it good and evil. We must eradicate the evil. Muslims want YOU and me dead. If we don't end their mentality of death and violence towards the infidel non-believers of Islam, YOU and I and our families will suffer. Terror+Islam=TerrorIslam!

    2. huy

      you are right that's why you have a chance to survive
      the rest are useful ******.

  25. magarac

    What´s the bloody point?

  26. Misha Herzberg

    Greatest one i've ever seen about Israeli army, just life as it is. I like the story of the guy who told his wife about being the top fighter while smashing doors all the time.

    1. 1_Aethiometer

      I agree but it seem you and I are the only ones who saw the documentary in the way it was made. A story about the people caught up in war. People view both cultures in comparison to their own,it's that single mistakes that often enough cause wars. Heavy Sigh

  27. Jeremy Hughes

    Anyone that defends Israel's policies is in serious need of an MRI.

  28. Richard T

    Interesting documentary. I agree with what Shelach says at 56:54 - "How didn't we feel it? How could we go into peoples houses, in the middle of the night, mess their house. Wake up their wives and kids, frighten them with drawn weapons - without feeling something was wrong. There is a moral dilemma here".

    Other than the situation with the 3 guys they captured while trying to flee with weapons, bullets, etc - all of the Palestinians they arrest are doing nothing more than sitting inside of their homes. I never saw any guns, bullets, bombs, grenades, IED(s), nothing - it seems like they were being arrested for being Arab males. Why were any of these searches necessary in the first place? How can you not see that treating other people like this is wrong?

    What would you do if someone entered your house, with weapons drawn in the middle of the night, demanding to search and destroy your entire house? The whole time soldiers will be pointing weapons at you, and if you happen to be a man you will most likely be detained for no reason. Who would put up with this? No wonder why so many people are willing to go on suicide bombing missions - which of course does nothing but magnify hated and mistrust even further.

    1. sinan yilmaz

      Don't you know that all Arab males between the ages of 16 and 60 are potential terrorists..... and are treated as such. They just don't get the point the occupation itself is the cause for resistance. Just as it was in Iraq back in 2003-4. When you have foreign boots walking on your streets and into your houses, sooner or later people are just going to start fighting back. The Israelis of all should know, thats what they did in Warsaw Ghetto back in 44. They can't be human, inflicting upon innocents what was inflicted on themselves. When they, of all people on earth means what oppression really means, how could they turn around and do the same to others?

    2. David Rodrigues

      "Don't you know that all Arab males between the ages of 16 and 60 are potential terrorists..... " men you are ****** i prefer a muslim that age every day becouse jews that age think they are holly some special kind of humans i would go to palestine any time but i would never never trust an israely and never never would put my feet on israel becouse i would be shame a traitor to humans in general...the victims of alcoust im sure all are so so so a shame of what israel people do every day...every one hates you are the terrorists you are the extremists not muslims....have some shame men...if i could join palestine fighters against israel i would die for them i would feel blessed...

    3. jacobella

      It was actually the first documentary I have watched where a number of Israeli soldiers admitted that what they are doing to the Palestinians is morally wrong...How is it that they can rifle through one's belongings in the dead of the night, use their fax machine, watch their TV and terrify the children until they break down in tears and feel no amount of shame? How much longer can Israel continue to treat the Palestinians like garbage??? Their style is resembling that of Hitler. The Palestinians live in fear of their lives and the lives of their chidren 24-7. They are under constant occupation by Israeli soldiers and have lost all their rights. Many are now homeless, because the Israelis TOOK their homes and the list goes on...They are is that simple and they can be killed for smiling. It is disturbing. However, in this doc. it was refreshing that it-least some of the soldiers seemed aware that their behavior is morally unjust. One soldier even commented to the other "how would you like to be them"....Sad.

    4. huy

      when your family dies in a movie theatre you will understand
      come back after funeral

  29. Ziad

    isreali army are the real terrorists. what jerks

  30. del lewis

    Said general Clay to general Gore why must we fight this silly war to kill and die is such a bore I quite agree sid general Gore.Said general Gore to general clay why dont we go to the beach and play and have some ice cream on the way I quite agree said Clay.... What can i say??? Iam sick of war war war