Waltz with Bashir
Ari Folman | Israel, France, Germany | 2008 | 87 min | HE
Although Ari Folman’s film Waltz with Bashir premiered more than 10 years ago, this suggestive story is so unforgettable that many viewers remember it vividly to this day. It was screened in the official competition selection at the Cannes Festival, won dozens of awards and was nominated for dozens more, including an Oscar. Folman balances between multiple genres – his film is a documentary, an autobiographical story and a psychological and war drama. Its main protagonist is the director himself, who, as a 19-year-old soldier of the Israel Defense Forces, took part in the First Lebanon War in 1982. The film reconstructs his memory – in later life, Folman approaches other veterans, asking them to help him find his memories of savage massacres in Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila. In its time, the film resonated with another Middle Eastern autobiographical film, Persepolis. Unlike its director Marjane Satrapi, Folman is more thorough in his documentary approach. But his film can also stir the emotions of its viewers who see a gruesome world that they had only a faint (or no) idea existed.