Waltz With Bashir is an Isreali animated documentary written and directed by Ari Folman. The film follows Folman as he searches for his lost memories from the 1982 Lebanon War. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2008 Oscars only to lose to Departures.
During the 1982 Lebanon War, Ari Folman was a 19 year old soldier for the Isreali Defense Forces. In 2006, he goes on a search following what little memories he does have trying to reestablish the memories and nightmares of the War. His interest in regaining these memories is due to the nature of the Lebanese War. Most of the memories he has comes back to him in dreams and he recognizes someone in those dreams then goes to talk to that person to try and recreate anything else that they may know. The end of the film turns from animation to actual footage of the aftermath of the war. It’s a terrible thing to see what was left and to see so many remains of men, women, and children. It makes you a little happier to live where you do live where we have freedom. Will Ari Folman get back all of the memories of the war?? Will he be happy with what he does find out??
One thing I like about the film is its originality. You don’t see many feature length documentaries that are animated, if you even see any. The darkness of the animation represented the feeling that Folman wanted you to get out of the film. The animation is also very graphic, something you would not expect from an animated movie. But the film does carry an R-rating so don’t be too surprised when going into this film. I really enjoyed the way Folman presented the film. The transitions from his dream sequences to reality were easy to follow and smooth. It wasn’t hard to decipher what was a dream and what was reality.
Overall, I thought the film was very good. It is the only film that was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film last year I have seen so I can’t compare it to the others. But if the other ones are as good as or better than this film I am looking forward to getting my hands on them. While I don’t think this film is for everyone, I do think the film can be enjoyed by many. It’s a documentary that I can open a lot of people’s eyes to things that go on in other countries that should make us thankful to live where we live. Although things are bad here and probably aren’t going to get any better any time soon, it could always be worse and over 17,000 people saw how bad it could get during the Lebanon War. This film is about a man that was a part of that war and he tries to get back a lot of memories that I would never want to remember.