Waltz With Bashir Movie Review

Despite the elegant title, Waltz with Bashir is a dance of pure sorrow.  From the disturbing, dog-filled dream sequence that opens the film to its harrowing newsreel ending, it bears somber witness to the events that occurred as a result of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

Director Ari Folman (Made in Israel) also wrote and produced this first-ever animated documentary, based on his own experiences in the Israeli army during the invasion.  Folman’s nine interviews (7 actual participants, 2 actors portraying the more reluctant) were cut as if he were making a conventional live-action documentary.  The assassination of Bashir Gemayel, newly appointed President of Lebanon, in mid-September, 1982 by Palestinian factions triggered a retaliatory strike by The Lebanese Christian Militia, (also known as the Phalangists, who were Israeli allies at the time).  Folman allows successive stories, reminisces, and interviews from fellow soldiers, a psychiatrist, a high ranking Israeli officer, and a war correspondent unfold in confessional and revelatory ways.  The waltz part comes from the movements of a lone soldier battling unseen snipers with his rifle, crossing a deadly street in a hail of bullets.  Waltz with Bashir will haunt the viewer in the way it haunted Folman, who has done his best to take the audience with him on his personal journey.  Regret, sadness, delayed shock and numbness accompany the participants in varying degrees.

When women appear, they are either animated sexual fantasies, fond memories, or newsreel mourners in the final, disturbing sequence of events.  A closer look reveals a skyline scarred by bombed out buildings rendering the prospect of an intact window anywhere a veritable impossibility.  Flares light up the night as three young Israeli soldiers emerge naked from the sea and silently dress for battle.  (Hebrew with English subtitles)

Waltz With Bashir movie review was written by Jacqueline Monahan The Flick Chicks and given 4 out of 5 chicks.

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