Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Dir. Ari Folman

I’d guess Kevin and Penny, followed by Grace, Chris and Mitchell would appreciate this. Many would think this is a decent to good film, but whether it’s enjoyable or worth checking out depend on your interest in the subject matter. I think it was a solid film (I had a few quibbles), but the lower score reflects my lack of interest in the subject. This is now playing at Kahala. (I don’t think you have to see it on the big screen.)

This is an animated film (really a documentary–I believe the characters are real people) about a 1982 war incident involving the Israeli army, Christian Phalangists and Palestinians. The main character was present at the incident, but can’t seem to remember anything about it. Thus, he searches for people he knows that were at the incident.

Like Grave of the Fireflies, the use of animation heightens–rather than dampens–the emotional impact of the film (I liked the animation in general, too.)–which the film does have. On a more objective level, I think the film could have been shortened–the director could have trimmed some of the early interviews without losing much, while keeping the film from dragging. On a subjective level, while I was interested in learning about the war, the actual incident, while terrible, was not unlike many other war atrocities. That doesn’t make it less important or less horrendous, just that I don’t know if I need to see this. The ending was very effective though, and I thought that was a good move on the director’s part.

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