After more than four years, The Random Films is moving to a new home. The rebranded, restructured and refashioned blog will have new features such as First Peeks (trailers of upcoming movies) and TV Series (reviews of favorite television shows). Hope you support the new blog just the same. Please visit: MOVIEcracy

Waltz with Bashir


Whenever we say cartoons, we immediately visualize funny characters in rich color backdrop, with a light theme and happy music. However, there are some which explore the sad side of humanity, portraying images in dark, giving the feel of chaos and anger. Just like this 2008 critically-acclaimed Israeli animated film…

Waltz with Bashir (Hebrew: ואלס עם באשיר, translit. Vals Im Bashir) is an Israeli animated documentary film written and directed by Ari Folman whose memories of the 1982 Lebanon War was depicted in the movie. Waltz with Bashir is the first Israeli animated feature-length film since 1962. 

The movie is about Ari Folman’s search of his lost memories. In 1982, nineteen-year-old Folman served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). In 2006, he meets a former colleague from his army service period who tells him of his nightmares connected to his experiences from the Lebanon War. In his dreams, he sees 26 dogs running only after him and other random scenes from his experiences. To Folman’s surprise, he remembers nothing from that period. Later that night, Folman has a vision from the night of the Sabra and Shatila massacre where he sees himself and two other soldier friends bathing at night by the seaside in Beirut under the flares descending over the city. Bothered, he meets another friend from his army service who advises him to consult other people who were in Beirut at the same time. So Folman sees other ex-armies. He visits long-forgotten people. As he digs deeper into his past, events come to life for him. Ancient pains resurfaces. Excitement rebuilds. And then finally, he understands his fatal participation in the Sabra and Shatila massacre…

The film’s title is taken from a scene in which an Israeli army fires a machine gun and dances an insane waltz amidst heavy enemy fire on a Beirut street decorated with posters of Bashir Gemayel, supposedly Lebanon’s “savior”. Figuratively, it symbolizes Folman’s dance with his memories of the Lebanon war.

Waltz with Bashir has amazing graphics, making you feel like reading comics. It’s like flipping through pages of colored comics. But unlike comics, there are spaces and shadows between objects that make the movie seem 3D. It is as if several cartoons are cut, overlaid each other and made to move relative to one another. It is cleverly and brilliantly made. Yet, the film is not totally appropriate for children; it is an adult animated film. Waltz with Bashir is literally dark and some scenes contain heavy graphics and music, killings, violence, nudity and even sex.

The film depicts one of Lebanon’s darkest moments where Israel had active participation. It is very ironic that Israel had a refugee camp for Lebanese captives during the war, and inside several abuses where being done. The film ended with actual footages showing the stark aftermaths of the massacre. I suppose that sometime in history, the Holocaust victims has once been the abuser. As many critics put it, the film is disturbingly realistic, provocative, and emotionally powerful.

Expectedly, the film was banned in Lebanon and only later allowed for limited screening to critics. In Israel, the film was only moderately commercially successful. Despite that, the film was one of the top ten films of 2008 for many movie critics including those in LA Weekly, Entertainment Weekly, The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times (tied at 10th with WALL-E), New York Post, and many others.

Moreover, the film received numerous awards and nominations. It was the first animated film to be nominated for both Academy and Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It won either the best animated feature or best foreign language film in many awards including the Golden Globe Award, BAFTA Awards, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, Cesar Awards, European Film Awards, Annie Awards, International Cinephile Society Awards, International Documentary Association Awards, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, and several other awards.

For me, I will give Waltz with Bashir five stars out of five because it is bold, deep and powerful, for its brilliant play of scenes, music and characters, and for bravely admitting a long-past guilt.
See what others have to say about "Waltz with Bashir."
Read more of my articles at Triond, Factoidz and Bukisa.
Sign up now for Triond, Factoidz and Bukisa.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...