New Internationalist

Waltz With Bashir

December 2008

Written, produced and directed by Ari Folman

Israeli filmmaker Ari Folman’s latest is an animated docudrama in which the director and his friends play key roles. One night, in a bar, a friend tells Folman about a recurring dream in which 26 vicious dogs are chasing him. The two decide that the dream is connected to Israel’s war with Lebanon – in which they both served in the 1980s. Eager to find out about his involvement in a conflict of which he has little recollection, Folman seeks out fellow former recruits and sets their animated testimonies to real audio recordings. What follows is a personal and moving study of selective memory, repressed feelings and the folly of war. This compelling film, with its vivid cartoon format and potent techno-rock-classical soundtrack, gives a fresh approach to understanding the massacres that took place in Beirut in 1982. Nothing can prepare you for the shocking coup de théâtre with which the film ends.


This column was published in the December 2008 issue of New Internationalist. To read more, buy this issue or subscribe.

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This article was originally published in issue 418

New Internationalist Magazine issue 418
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