Flipping Out

Israel is struggling to deal with about 2,000 former soldiers every year who abuse hallucinogenic drugs until they become psychotic.

Flipping out 01
Premiere Date
September 8, 2008
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Shamir yoav filmmaker bio

Yoav Shamir

Yoav Shamir is a film graduate of the Tel-Aviv University. His debut was Marta & Luis, which appeared in festivals in Edinburgh (2001), Tel-Aviv (2002), and Berlin (2002). His second film, Checkpoint, won the the Joris Ivens award for Best Feature Documentary (IDFA 2003), the Best International Deature Documentary (Hotdocs2004), Best Cinematography (Documenta Madrid) and Special Jury prize (Munich International Documentary film Festival 2004). The film screened at more than 40 other festivals. His 2005 documentary 5 Days participated in IDFA, Th Sundance Festival, and Hot Docs.

Sharfshtein michael filmmaker bio

Michael Sharfshtein

Michael Sharfstein has been active as a feature film producer since 1985. He has produced feature films such as Zohar by Eran Riklis (best film, Israeli Academy Award), Until Night Ends by Eitan Green (special mention, Cannes), and Marriage of Convenience by Haim Buzaglo. In 1994 he produced his first documentary film Haperach Begani about the life of Zohar Argov, followed in 1998 with another documentary film We Love You Patricia, both directed by Shiri Shahar. In addition to feature films, Sharfstein has been active in television, producing series such as Basic Training/Tironot for Reshet/Channel 2; Jaffa Tales based on stories by Menahem Talmi; and the sitcom Straight Forward.


Philippa Kowarsky

Philippa Kowarsky graduated M.A. degree in communication policy studies, at the City University of London. Since 1993 she has been working in the Film & TV industries in various capacities: production, development and distribution/international sales. In 1997 Philippa established her own distribution and co-productions company, Cinephil. Today, Cinephil is a home to independent Israeli, Palestinian and foreign productions and co productions, such as Trembling Before G-d, Watermarks, 5 Days (documentaries), and Someone to Run With and Sweet Mud (feature films). Cinephil also exclusively represents documentaries by Amos Gitai and the Jerusalem Sam Spiegel Film & TV School.

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The Film

Every year thousands of soldiers are discharged after two or three years of compulsory service in the Israeli Defense Forces. Many of these men and women have seen combat, and some suffer ongoing psychological problems as a result.

About 30,000 cash in their discharge checks and travel the world, most of them heading to the Indian subcontinent to experiment with drugs. Approximately 2,000 soldiers will “flip out,” or suffer from drug-induced psychosis that requires them to be institutionalized. Flipping Out tells the rarely reported story of the price that Israeli society is paying for the constant state of war in which it finds itself.