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Vals Im Bashir (aka Waltz With Bashir) (A. Folman, 2009)[+Extras]

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Vals Im Bashir (aka Waltz With Bashir) (A. Folman, 2009)[+Extras]-aNaRCHo


[MY NOTE: Ok, so I know this film will be controversial here. I just want to point out a couple things that may be points of interest for people here. This film covers former Israeli soldiers "reliving" of events during the war in Lebanon in the 80's, particularly one disgustingly violent massacre in which soldiers entered the Refugee Camps, rounded up and killed entire families: men, women and children. It is clear (and the Director points this out in the Extras) that Israel supported the making of this documentary for one reason- and one reason alone- because it places the blame for the massacre at the hands of a "Christian wing" of the Israeli millitary (though Jewish soldiers were still involved). I dont like this aspect of the film. But the overall message of the film is not only critical of the way the Israeli army acts, but is critical of war in general. So for all you fundamentalist Jew-haters, i've pointed out some criticisms regarding the film...before you start ripping on me for uploading this. Pretty incredible film either way!!]

"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."
--Max_Cinefilo89 from imdb

EXTRA FEATURES INCLUDE(eng subs provided for all extras except Trailer):
-Director's commentary as 2nd audio track (in english, english subs included=3rd sub track in subpack)
-Surreal Soldiers - Making of Waltz With Bashir (eng)
-Q&A with Director Ari Folman (eng)
-Building the Scenes - Animatics (eng & hebrew)
-Theatrical Trailer