The Israeli film, Waltz With Bashir, began screening for the first time in Israeli theaters yesterday. It received high accolades, though no awards, at Cannes and was scooped up for U.S. distribution by Sony Picture Classics. Ari Folman’s film retells his experience as a 19 year old Golani officer during the 1982 Lebanon war. Nearly 30 years later, he knows that he must’ve had some awareness of the Sabra and Shatilla massacres since he was there, but he cannot remember a thing. Waltz with Bashir is Folman’s attempt to coax the memories back to consciousness.
With a trauma this deep, a standard documentary or even live-action film would’ve been too conventional. So Folman decided to create an animated film. The highly-stylized animation creates a certain distance between then and now and allows the filmmaker to better express his alienation from his young self. The effect powerfully expresses the anti-war sentiment that is the filmmaker’s vision.
For a higher quality video trailer than Youtube, visit the film’s website.