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Waltz With Bashir


“Waltz With Bashir” is a memoir, a history lesson, a combat picture, a piece of investigative journalism and an altogether amazing film. Directed by Ari Folman, an Israeli filmmaker whose struggle to make sense of his experience as a soldier in the Lebanon war of 1982 shapes its story, “Waltz” is by no means the world’s only animated documentary, a phrase that sounds at first like a cinematic oxymoron. Movies like Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life” and Brett Morgen’s “Chicago 10” have used animation to make reality seem more vivid and more strange, producing odd and fascinating experiments. Why did Mr. Folman, who has worked on more conventional documentaries in the past, decide to use animation in this one? The answer to the question is another question: How else could he have recorded dreams, hallucinations and distorted memories, his own and those of other veterans? The core of “Waltz With Bashir” is a series of conversations between the director, depicted with graying hair and a thoughtful demeanor, and other middle-aged Israeli men who were in Lebanon in the summer of 1982, when the Israeli Defense Forces pushed up through the southern part of the country toward Beirut. Most of them were in the western part of that city from the 16th to the 18th of September, when Christian militiamen slaughtered as many as 3,000 civilians, ostensibly to avenge the death of Bashir Gemayel, Lebanon’s newly elected president, who had been assassinated a few days before.

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December 26, 2008 - Posted by | Israeli-Arab Conflict

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