Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Waltz with Bashir, animated darkly

One of the most powerful war films I've ever seen is the Israeli animated documentary and psycho-thriller by Ari Folman called "Waltz with Bashir". This movie is not to be missed. It deserves all its Cannes accolades, and feels authentic and unflinching. The story tracks an IDF veteran's four-year search for his lost memory, and explores the effects of denial and post-traumatic stress syndrome on memory. The stark dream sequences reveal how a mind copes with the incomprehensible. There's a gruff charm, an 80s aesthetic and soundtrack, and the Jewish shrinks are both droll and insightful. (Click here to view the trailer.)
The back-story is the gory massacre following the assassination of Bachir Gemayel (a Christian Lebanese politician with a Che Guevara-like following). While the Israeli forces stood by, vengeance was carried out in two refugee camps, Sabra & Shatila. Some onlookers and participants apparently blocked out the atrocity and the shame, and then lived with the damage for years. It's a very personal take on the toll of a battlefield incident, rather than political dissection of a notorious mass killing. It illuminates the incident and the mental blockage.
After seeing the show in Jerusalem, Izzy overheard leftist friends complain that Forman contrived to show Israelis as somehow the victims of the first Lebanon War, and that was untenable. The point is that we all are victims of conflict in one way or another, and a better solution must be found. See this movie if you get a chance. It will make you think about war and warriors. In Hebrew, with English subtitles.


hotpink heifer said...

The film won the Cannes canine accolade, the Paw d'Or, for best use of hounds in a film. Opening scene with a pack

Anonymous said...

You messed up the link to the trailer!

Izzy Bee said...

link is fixed

It's http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylzO9vbEpPg

FOr some reason, there was a glitch when I tried to "share" directly on the blog, but with just a click this will work.

Eliot Spitzer said...

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes. http://www.xanax-effects.com/

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