Title: Waltz with Bashir Director: Ari Folman Year of production: 2008 Country of production: Israel Length: 86mins

. Waltz with Bashir is an animated feature-length documentary which is based around the attempts of the Israeli director, Ari Folman, to regain his lost memories of the 1982 Lebanon War. Waltz with Bashir is a very unique work. Rather than simply seeking to expound a message, Folman uses the documentary form as a process of working out meaning, a means of investigating the extent of his own complicity in the perpetration of war crimes. Instead of being an exercise of observation from the outside, the documentary process becomes a journey inward. For the director, who claims to have “lost his memory”, research for the film is not simply a matter of gathering information, but is fraught with the perils of discovering terrible things about himself. In this documentary, the importance of objectivity is decentered and the subjective becomes the privileged point of view. Digital animation used to reconstruct the dreams, memories, and fears of the interview subjects and the director himself. Scenes of warfare are punctuated by beautiful, surreal dream sequences. The imagery is extremely poignant, and carries far more emotional resonance than traditional forms of documentary footage. In my opinion, the portrayal of these intangiblesometimes imagined- experiences and memories grants unique insight into the ramifications of war for individuals. The director also uses the film as an exploration of human experience, memory and selective memory; in particular, how many soldiers who have experienced traumatic events selectively delete things from their memories. He uses the medium of animation to investigate the flawed nature of both memory and experience, hinting that digitally generated images can be a more accurate reflection of memories and emotions than traditional documentary modes such as interview or recount. I certainly believe that the animated footage gives the audience greater insight into the subjective experiences of soldiers. The portrayal of emotions like shame and guilt is particularly strong.

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