IDF – The Musical is a historical documentary series which deals with a major part of Israeli society’s collective memory. The series offers a current, eye opening and critical look at the Israeli Defense Forces entertainment troupes. These are presented as a case study for understanding social and political processes in Israel. These troupes were an integral part of Israel’s entertainment business, created to serve the soldiers at the front, but attracting the citizens back home, as well.

The series points out the ideological role of the troupes while telling the personal and collective stories of those involved: the stars, the creative directors and the military commanders. The story of the close connection between the performing arts and power is interwoven into the personal and national story.


4 episodes – 60 minutes (approx.) each, Israel 2004, Hebrew

Director: Erez Laufer

Cinematographer: Erez Laufer

Editor: Miri Laufer Series Editor: Dan Arav

Producers: Edna and Elinor Kowarsky, Eden Productions

  • The Jerusalem International Film Festival, Israel 2004
  • Haifa International Film Festival, Israel 2004
  • Channel 2, Israel
  • The New Israel Foundation for TV and Cinema

“’IDF – The Musical’ is a fascinating, exciting and thought provoking documentary series… a subversive series, that knows how to show the absurd and exploitation in a country whose pop-culture was created by and for the army. Even so, the series doesn’t deny the many moments of beauty, innocence and magic that wee created by this same absurd.” Ra’anan Shaked, Yediot Aharonot 

Erez Laufer born 1962 in Israel, graduated from the Film and Television department at Tel-Aviv University.

In the years 1987- 1994 he worked at Pennebaker Hegedus Films, New-York, starting as assistant editor on Depche Mode 101, Co-editing The Oscar nominee The War Room and becoming Co-Director with Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker on 3 part series for Woodstock 25th anniversary Woodstock Diary.

In 1994, Erez Laufer returned to Israel and has directed and produced several films independently. His films were broadcast in the different channels in Israel and abroad, and were supported by The New Foundation for Cinema and Television in Israel.

Since 1994 Erez Laufer is still connected with Pennebaker-Hegedus Films and has returned to New York to work with their team on many projects among them and Only the Strong Survive. In 2001 Erez Laufer joined the “Steps” International team in their Aids films Project and edited in South Africa the film: Looking for Busi.

Recently he finished editing the film “Flags War” directed by Linda Byrons and Laura Poitras in New York, premiere at SXSW and got the Jury award as the best documentary and was the opening film for POV 2003 Season.

As a Director, Erez Laufer does most of the filming and editing by himself. His last film as director “Mike Brant- Laisse Moi T’aimer”, won the Israeli academy award as best documentary for 2002. The international premiere of the film was at The Director Fortnight at Cannes Film Festival 2003.