An animated documentary is receiving some of the best reviews of the year. Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir, produced in Israel, tells of an Israeli man's tortured memories of his country's 1982 invasion of Lebanon and Sabra and Shatila Massacre.
They Say 'Art' and 'Cinema' in particular can change things and heal open scars ... Let's Hope so ...
One night in 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 theres a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he cant 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.
An animated documentary -- seemingly a contradiction in terms -- is receiving some of the best reviews of the year. Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir, produced in Israel, tells of an Israeli man's tortured memories of his country's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. It has elicted words like "riveting" (Joe Morgenstern, the Wall Street Journal), "astonishing ... searing ... altogether amazing" (A.O. Scott, the New York Times), "haunting" (Lou Lumenick, the New York Post), and "profoundly affecting," Rick Groen, the Toronto Globe and Mail. Groen's review takes up the issue inherent in a movie that uses animation to replace bloody reality. "All war movies face the endemic problem of how to dramatize war without aestheticizing it. Here, by beginning with an obvious layer of added artifice, the animation technique openly admits to that problem and, paradoxically, goes some way toward solving it, simply by accentuating the notion that nothing about war seems real, yet everything about war is real -- deadly real." Indeed, Scott in the New York Times observes that at the end of the film, the animation stops "and the audience is confronted with graphic, horrifying images of real dead bodies. This ending shows just how far Mr. Folman is prepared to go, not in the service of shock for its own sake, but rather in his pursuit of clarity and truth."
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