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Vals Im Bashir (2008)

Vals Im Bashir (2008)

Ari FolmanRon Ben-YishaiRonny DayagOri Sivan
Ari Folman


Vals Im Bashir (2008) is a Hebrew,Arabic,German,English movie. Ari Folman has directed this movie. Ari Folman,Ron Ben-Yishai,Ronny Dayag,Ori Sivan are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2008. Vals Im Bashir (2008) is considered one of the best Documentary,Animation,Biography,Drama,History,Mystery,War movie in India and around the world.

One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can't remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.


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Vals Im Bashir (2008) Reviews

  • An extraordinary achievement that redefines the documentary genre


    Let's get one thing straight from the beginning: Waltz With Bashir is an animated documentary. It may sound like a paradox, but hey, when the film played at the Cannes Film Festival (which it left with rave reviews but zero awards) it was inevitably compared to Persepolis, which is an animated autobiography. The comparison was also caused by both movies having open anti-war messages, but they couldn't be more different in concept and execution. They do have one important thing in common, though: they are animated not because it looked good, but because it was the best artistic choice the directors could make. In the case of Ari Folman, the choice was dictated by the unique angle from which he chose to tell the story: subjectivity. Folman, like many young Israeli men in the '80s, joined the army to fight in Lebanon when he was merely 18 (this was in 1982), thinking he could serve his country in the best way possible. Once the war was over, Folman's new career began, and he is now a successful actor, director and writer (among other things, he worked on the TV show that inspired HBO's In Treatment). However, he still wasn't able to completely get over the war experience, and so he decided to make Waltz With Bashir in order to exorcise his demons, so to speak. In doing so, he delivered one of the strongest, boldest documents about the true nature of conflict. Folman's introspective journey begins with the lack of memory: apparently, he and many of his fellow soldiers have trouble remembering the exact details of what happened in Lebanon. All they have left is dreams, like the haunting nightmare that opens the movie (26 murderous dogs surrounding the apartment of a former soldier, who believes it to be a subconscious punishment for his killing 26 dogs during a mission) or Folman's eerie flashback of himself and his friends emerging from the water after a massacre he can't (or perhaps doesn't want to) remember. Engaging in a pursuit of the truth, the director locates several people with first-hand recollections of those events, and all these people (minus two) supply their own voices for their animated counterparts. The stream of personal anecdotes and, as said earlier, dreams, made it impossible for Folman to show real footage of what he was trying to say. After all, how do you show a live-action dream sequence in a documentary without making it look corny? Hence the winning choice of rendering the whole story through animation, with just one exception (the final scene, the one that justifies the film's existence, consists of real filmed material). This gives the picture a feel that is both evocative and down-to-earth, a bizarre but powerful combination that has earned Waltz With Bashir comparisons with the similarly merciless Apocalypse Now. Like few other films about war (Folman has openly stated he despises Hollywood's treatment of the Vietnam conflict, not counting Coppola's masterpiece), this strange, captivating opus depicts it without making it look cool: it's ugly, it's reprehensible, it's the stuff nightmares are made of - not for nothing does it still haunt Folman and his friends. Journey of self-discovery, cinema as psychoanalysis, a document about the past, a warning for the future: Waltz With Bashir is all those things and much, much more. It's a unique piece of cinema, unmatched in its seamless mixture of raw power and peculiar visual beauty.

  • Political animation of a very high order


    Animation is not just for children - the French "Persepolis" (about a girl in Iran) made that clear and the Israeli "Waltz With Bashir" (about the invasion of Lebanon) dramatically underlines the point. The Israeli work was written , produced and directed by Ari Folman and is based on his experiences as a soldier and his video of his exploration of the traumatic events some 20 years later. Like any really powerful film, the opening and closing sequences are stunning - but the intervening one and half hours contain so many moving and disturbing images - some simply surreal - that the animation plays in the mind long after the credits have rolled. The title is a reference to Bashir Gemayel, the newly appointed President of Lebanon, who was assassinated on 14 September 1982 following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon on 6 June 1982. The assassination led the Israeli command to authorise the entrance of a force of approximately 150 Phalangist fighters into the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps, resulting in a massacre of at least 800 civilians. It is this horrific incident that is the emotional heart of the movie and the cause of Folman's mental repression.

  • Great, personal film about the horrors of war


    I saw this film at the AFI Film Festival a couple of months ago and it stayed with me since then. This is not your typical war movie, nor is it your typical animated film. I'd say its kind of a cross between Waking Life and Grave of the Fireflies. The film takes place in the present. The film's director, Ari Folman, comes to the realization that he cannot remember anything from the time he served in the Israeli army during the 1982 Lebanon War. The bulk of the movie are his interviews with his old army friends where he asks them what they remember from that time. Folman tries to see in their memories something in himself that has been missing, deadened, or dulled. Like Waking Life, there is no "plot." The filmmaker prefers a more interview-based film. This is an "idea film," a poetic film, and traditional narrative style takes a back seat. Like Grave of the Fireflies, the animation in Waltz With Bashir shows the horror of war and its effect on individuals in ways that a live action recreation could never replicate. The film's themes of human memory and its elasticity are served well by this technique. Rather than a soldier escaping death by hiding in the sea, we get the larger-than-life memory of a soldier escaping death that would look too "real" in a live action reenactment.

  • A great blend of the real and the unreal.


    Waltz With Bashir is amongst the finest animation films I've seen. It is a very disturbing comment on war and its consequences both on countries and on people of both sides. No doubt this approach has been taken by numerous other film makers; however what sets Waltz With Bashir apart is that it takes a documentary approach and compares Israel's activities in Lebanon with atrocities in the past wars. Other than documenting events, the film also consists of surreal dream sequences and real life incidents. Thus the film emerges as a unique combination of the real and the unreal. The hand drawn animation also makes it a delight to watch. The colour gave it the right atmosphere of claustrophobia in open spaces and the background score is fabulous. It is certainly not, as the Director of NZ Film Festival announced before the screening, a 'feel-good film'. It should appeal to people who have an interest in animation, documentaries, war and current affairs. 10 out of 10.

  • An animated Apocalypse Now; in other words, confronting and powerful


    Israeli director Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir is easily the standout film of 2008, with its surreal animation style and abrupt way of portraying such a horrific event. The event being the Sabra and Shatila massacre, in which Palestinian men, women and children were massacred by Christian Phalangists as revenge for the assassination of their leader Bashir Gemayel. The Israelis did not perpetrate the killings but did nothing to stop them, even sending flares into the night sky to assist the Phalangists. The story follows Ari Folman, who meets a friend in a bar who tells him of the nightmares connected to his experiences from the 1982 Lebanon War. Folman is surprised to find out that he does not remember a thing from the same period. Later that night he has a vision from the night of the Sabra and Shatila massacre and does not know if it was real or not. In his memory he and his soldier friends are bathing at night at the seaside of Beirut to the light of flares descending over the city. Folman rushes off to meet another friend from his army service, who advises him to discuss it with other people who were in Beirut at the same time. The film follows Folman in his conversations with a psychologist and reporter Ron Ben-Yishai who was in Beirut at the same time. There are a few people who need to be congratulated here for their fine efforts in bringing this amazing film to life. David Polonsky, Art Director and Illustrator, along with Director of Animation Yoni Goodman have used a unique style of animation to tell a documentary/war film which shows the futility of war boldly. Although animated, the film features graphic violence and some of the most disturbing images I have ever seen. In particular, a scene showing horses dying in the streets is unflinchingly tragic and another scene showing families being shot is beyond depressing. This movie would probably not have had the same impact if it were not animated. The music, which features rock, Bach, Chopin, Schubert and an original score by Max Richter adds an incredible amount of depth and emotional impact to the already challenging imagery. The scene from which the title is named after, in which one of Folman's fellow comrades waltzes in the middle of gunfight, firing a heavy machine gun while surrounded by posters of Bashir, is magical as well as mystical. Waltz with Bashir is truly a must-see film; however, it is so confronting and sad. This is necessary, though, to show the pointlessness of war and the effect it has on people. This is evident in the last seconds of the film, when real footage of the aftermath of the massacre presents dark and graphic views of corpses. You will not leave the cinema happy, but you will leave feeling the power of a piece of art you will not forget anytime soon. 5/5


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