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Waltz with Bashir – nf – We had never seen an animated documentary before but that is the essence of this movie. It won many film festival awards as well as a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and an Academy Award nomination in this category. Israeli Director Ari Folman set out to fill in the gaps in his memory concerning his experience in the Israeli army during the first war in Lebanon in the 1980s. He does this by interviewing soldiers who served with him at that time, some of whom he hasn’t seen in more than twenty years, plus others who went through this experience, whom he recruits by newspaper advertisements. In most cases he uses their recorded voices in the film but his team has a done a brilliant job developing techniques for depicting the story in cartoon animation which is based mostly on scenes recreated in a studio. The result is a realistic dramatic account of what was a very traumatic experience as this 19-year-old man went through the war and witnessed frightening horrible things. This presumably is why he has these memory gaps and why some of the narrators up until now have had difficulty in saying what they had seen. The key event is the massacre at Sabria and Shatila where the Christian Phalangists murdered Palestinian and Lebanese civilians. This group was a Lebanese political faction allied with the Israeli army who are shown stationed on the periphery of this area but voicing objections once they realized what was happening. The more you understand the history and the politics of this time the better you can appreciate the movie. However, the anti war theme is loud and clear and is punctuated by the massacre scene transitioning into actual newsreel footage of the aftermath of this horrific event. (2008)
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