Director Ari Folman visits an old friend to help him remember details from one fateful night during the Lebanon War in this poetic dreamscape based on true events.
Waltz with Bashir is a 2008 Israeli animated documentary film based on the real-life experiences of its director, Ari Folman. The film depicts Folman’s search for long forgotten memories from a time when he was a soldier in the 1982 Lebanon War.
We follow Folman as he goes on an emotional journey to discover what happened during one night in September 1982, when Christian militia members massacred more than 3,000 Palestinian refugees in the heart of Beirut as Israeli soldiers surrounded the area.
Folman was one of the soldiers present that night, but has come to realise that he can’t remember most of what happened.
An old friend recalls a vivid nightmare in which he is pursued by 26 ferocious dogs, and Folman and his friend decide that this dream must have something to do with that fateful mission during the first Lebanon War.
Folman goes off in search of the truth about that night, travelling the world to meet up with and interview old friends and fellow soldiers from the war.
Later, as Folman’s memory begins to emerge through a series of surreal images, he begins to uncover a truth about himself that will haunt him for the rest of his days.
The film offers an innovative telling of a vital history lesson, utilising it’s animation format to explore the dreams of it’s character. The flat and stiff, jerky movements of the animation contribute to the dreamlike world the film creates. The tension and the dread slowly mount, until it reaches it’s devastating conclusion.
The film is officially banned in several countries, including Lebanon.
Waltz with Bashir received critical acclaim upon its release.
Watch the official trailer for Waltz with Bashir HERE: