Yesterday morning I saw one of the most impressive movies of the year: the animated documentary Bashir’s Waltz. This is a war film unlike any I’ve ever seen. Compassionate, horrific and probing, the film follows director and Israeli Army vet Ari Folman’s attempt to reconcile his memory (or lack thereof) with the real events that occurred during his service in the 1982 war with Lebanon.
I never expected Waltz With Bashir to be the movie I wanted out of Waking Life, but it is certainly that, among other things. Contained within this movie is a wonderously open view of how we experience and process the world around us, especially in times of stress and upheaval. The animation manages to be realistic and expressive at the same time, and underlines the power of memory as several veterans piece together the circumstances that led to a refugee massacre in a Palestinian camp after the assassination of Lebanese president-elect Bashir Gemayel.
Empire has an exclusive trailer for the film which demonstrates the beauty of Folman’s images. Many markets won’t get to see the movie until next year, but it should be oneveryone’s watch list, no matter how long the wait.