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Waltz with Bashir

Released: 2008

Genre: Documentary

Runtime: 1 hr 26 min

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Ari Folman

Starring: Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Ari Folman, Dror Harazi, Yehezkel Lazarov

Groundbreaking animated film about the experiences of Israeli soldiers during the 1982 Lebanon campaign.

Dynamic, groundbreaking.

Review by: MiamiMovieCritic

Added: 8 years ago

Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir is an extraordinary documentary that choricles the experiences of several young Israeli soldiers during the 1982 Lebanon War. Save for the shocking archival footage that serves as Folman's chilling coda, the film has been animated in dynamic, groundbreaking style. There's a fluidity and coherence to the war scenes that would have been much more difficult to capture in live action, and the visual style gives the film a surreal, haunted quality. The lead is Folman himself (the film is based on his real-life experiences), seen both as the filmmaker as he is today and as a 19-year-old member of the IDF who hadn't even started shaving when he touched down in Lebanon. There are poetic, Thin Red Line-style images amid the carnage, such as the opening shots of 26 dogs hurtling along a street, and later a group of soldiers emerging naked from the sea. The story follows the filmmaker as he tries to remember what part he played in the Sabra and Shatila massacre. His personal journey becomes a powerful univeral statement on how the dead never stay buried. Folman's Golden Globes acceptance speech is worth noting: "I wanna dedicate this prize to the eight beautiful production babies who were born in our tiny studio in Tel Aviv during the making of Waltz with Bashir. And I hope one day when they grow up they watch this film together, and the war they see in the film will look to them like an ancient video game that has nothing to do with their lives whatsoever."