Waltz with Bashir Reviews
Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir is an absolute stunner, a feature-length animated documentary, from Israel, in which the force of moving drawings amplifies eerily powerful accounts of war, shaky remembrance and rock-solid repression.
It is powerful because this work of art also provides such a cautionary tale about the psychic burdens young soldiers carry deep inside them decades after they've laid down their weapons.
Folman is an Israeli documentarian who has not worked in animation. Now he uses it as the best way to reconstruct memories, fantasies, hallucinations, possibilities, past and present. This film would be nearly impossible to make any other way.
An extraordinary achievement, Ari Folman's Waltz With Bashir is a detective story as well as an moral inquiry into the specific horrors of one war, and one man's buried memories of that war.
Bashir wasn't healing for me. On the contrary, it leaves much unresolved, but in the pacifist, passive horror recovered by its amnesiacs, I found it stunning -- in both meanings of the word -- and emotionally cathartic.
Complex, challenging and at times difficult to watch, Waltz With Bashir is nevertheless wholly unique, unquestionably powerful and, ultimately, a devastating indictment of war and its effects on its victims and its participants.