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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning movie .It will not leave the viewer indifferent
This is a trully unforgetable movie about an Israeli soldier trying to remember the events of a fateful day in Beirut during the 1982 invasion.

Without going into the histocracity of the movie I would like to say that is not meant to be taken an historical accoint but as a personal recollection of the events.

I was very impressed with the animation...
Published on 10 Sep 2009 by A customer

versus
8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars great visual cinema that can't obscure its political propaganda
This is visually a very good movie. However the overall impression given by this film is that Israeli forces were largely unaware of the Sabra and Chatila massacres going on, and they played no direct or indirect role in this, such an interpretation is highly questionable. As such, despite the visual beauty of the film one is left wondering how Ari Folman can maintain 'it...
Published on 22 April 2009 by Georgee


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning movie .It will not leave the viewer indifferent, 10 Sep 2009
By 
A customer (Asturias) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is a trully unforgetable movie about an Israeli soldier trying to remember the events of a fateful day in Beirut during the 1982 invasion.

Without going into the histocracity of the movie I would like to say that is not meant to be taken an historical accoint but as a personal recollection of the events.

I was very impressed with the animation with several novelties that make it stanning to watch. The soundtrack has a mixture of actors and real interviews with Israeli soldiers as well .

The human side of the story ,the futility of war ,the human cost are all perfectly reflected in the movie which also has a very moving and engaging.

Some reviewers give it one stars and call it propaganda but I feel Mr Folman made it very clear that this is not a documentary or an impartial view this is HIS OWN experience put into a film. If anything portraits the Palestinians as vicitms and the Israeli soldiers in the same way as some Vietman films show American soldiers as they walk in a Vietnamesse village and get a bit trigger happy.

Ari Folman ( director ) gives an interview about the film as an extra on the DVD where he explains his reasons for making the movie and his views on the events described in the movie.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Israel in treatment, 12 May 2009
This review is from: Waltz with Bashir [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Hagai Levi, creator of the Israeli TV show 'Be'Tipul' - which became in turn the inspiration for the latest HBO phenomenon, 'In Treatment', currently championed in the UK by The Guardian - said of Israel that "one of our problems as a nation is that in our mind we are still survivors, and sometimes we think that we can do awful things to others because we are survivors." Both 'Be'Tipul' and it US counterpart revolve around the psycho analyst's chair, each episode a single patient's session. Psychoanalysis - both individual and that pertaining to Israeli national identity - also pervades Ari Folman's 'Waltz With Bashir'. The film is a cathartic act of self-therapy, conducted on and by the director himself, with the help of former fellow soldiers: unpeeling an onion of buried memories revolving around his participation in Israel's 1982 invasion of Lebanon. His need to recover and clarify the past is provoked by a deeply unsettling, repetitive dream, which suggests a spectre of guilt regarding the events that lead to the Sabra and Shatila refugee camp massacres, a dark chapter in modern Israel's short but troubled history - a history dictated perhaps by a national psychology of survival.

'Waltz With Bashir' is unusual because parts of the film derive from genuine documentary footage in which Folman meets again and interviews his erstwhile Israeli army colleagues in search of a forgotten past. The interviews, like Folman's abstract, fallible memories and dreams, have been richly transformed into animation in a manner that recalls Richard Linklater's visually-striking but emotionally vacant 'A Scanner Darkly'. The noirish visuals are sumptuous to watch, sometimes almost distractingly so, especially during the interview sections when the sound is flatter, unadorned by dramatic devices such as music. Otherwise the line between fact and fiction, between the remembered past and documented present, is blurred by the consistently arresting animated imagery; up to a final, horrifying awakening. This climax, without playing politics, imposes the ultimate question about modern Israel: can the nation continue to live with its nightmares in the all-consuming war for survival? With all the importance attached to remembering Jewish plight (particularly The Holocaust), can they really choose to forget the "awful things" done in the name of Israeli survival? A powerful, thought-provoking, beautiful film.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remembering complicity to a massacre, 2 Sep 2012
By 
Aidan J. McQuade (Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Waltz with Bashir [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
Twenty years after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, of which he was a participant, the writer and director Ari Folman realized that he had little memory of his time there. This included being stationed a few hundred metres from the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila during the three days in which the Phalangist militia massacred the population there.

Waltz with Bashir recounts how, with the help of others who had been there, including fellow soldiers, he began to recover his memory of the events.

Palestinians and Lebanese have no voice in this film. Nevertheless it still represents some of the best impulses in Israeli society, documenting how an ordinary Israeli faces the truth of a particularly vile episode in his nation's history in which he himself was directly implicated.

The massacre in Sabra and Shatila has echoes through history: one Israeli journalist, Ron Ben-Yishai a distinguished war correspondent who was witness to the massacre, recounts how the scene in the camps reminded him of the images of the Warsaw Ghetto.

There are other echoes in Middle Eastern history. One not mentioned in the film is how in 1268, on capturing the city of Antioch, the Sultan Baybars immediately locked the city gates to stop the escape of any of the town's inhabitants as he proceeded to massacre them. Folman argues with this film that the role of the Israeli army during the massacre was the equivalent to Baybars' locking of the gates while their Phalangist allies, Israeli-equipped and in the full knowledge of the highest Israeli military commanders, carried out the slaughter. While the film may provide only a narrow perspective on the Lebanese invasion, it is a startlingly brave and humane one, showing how an ordinary individual human can take responsibility even in the midst of overwhelming historical events.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant!, 8 May 2009
By 
Leeanna Duffy "leemuffin" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
There are so many good points to this film it is hard to start. Very psychological undertone which is expressed throughout the film dictating the effects of post war on memory. The animation style is breathtaking at certain points further conveying the emotional aspects of the characters. The score by Max Richter also impacts upon the scenes especially that of the dogs at the beginning! Overall, love it, watch it now.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hypnotic and captivating piece of master film-making, 8 Jan 2010
By 
C. Kocu "Blow Dog" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've actually watched this film about 4 times now but for some reason I've never really talked about it. I think it's one of those films that was simply never intended for mainstream recognition, nor was it ever a film I wanted to read about much - it's just one of those jewels we want to selfishly keep to ourselves by not telling the world how amazing the movie is. The film follows the retrospective deliberations of ex-Israeli soldier, Ari Folman, who has recently been reminded by an old colleague of their involvement in the 1982 Lebanon War. It is only after this brief reminder that Ari realises he has no recollection of his involvement in the war and is suddenly privy to a number of flashbacks that relate to very little he can remember. So starts his journey of memory provocation as he visits friends, colleagues and those unknown who played a part in the war. it isn't until some recollection that he appears to have created a mental blackout within himself of the Sabra Masacres. As he delves deeper into his own subconscious, he begins to put together his mental jigsaw puzzle to eventually lead him to his epiphany of epic proportion in a recollection of events that even now has me shiver in despair. There are so many facets of this movie that are exceptional I don't know where to start, so I'll start from the obvious - the visuals.

It uses some very clever techniques that are a combination of Adobe Flash cutouts with classic animation, but the results are simply extraordinary. I've never seen animation, in the general sense, portray so much life in both character and surroundings. It's a stark contrast as the film tackles some very heavy issues, from genocide in war, to mental degradation and psychological breakdowns. It's moody, gritty and quite violent in places. There is no glory here, apart from attempting, successfuly, to recite mans folly in war especially when young of age - the attraction of war is a toffee apple and we are presented this by bright visuals and dynamic lighting effects that appear to be polish to a rusty collection of ill-fitting gears and cogs underneath. Secondly, I have to applaud the soundtrack. It's a combination of orchestral, moody, middle eastern tempo and alternating 80's popular and techno music. It's always, perfectly placed with the action, or anti, on screen and does so much to heighten the importance of the scenes that ultimately unfold to its grizzly ending.

There's also the dialogue. I'm a fan of world cinema, but the visuals are so breathtaking, especially in Bluray, that you simply do not want to tear your eyes off the delicious sights to read the subtitles. Regardless, I'm glad of the sub titles as the dialogue is brilliant - I'm familiar with the 'sound' of hebrew as I live in an area rich with Jewish inhabitants and often it can come across as a little coarse and guttural, but somehow there's a milky smoothness about the words batted between friend and gun partners. I found myself drawn into the intricately delivered facial expressions, the hand gestures and the odd shoulder shrug that so typically defines human reaction - something that is rarely conveyed so well in film, let alone animated.

As a historical lesson, those in the know claim it to be an incorrect portrayal of events. However, I felt it to be a heartbreaking tragic reenactment of a massacre of Muslim inhabitants in a film made my Jewish Israelis. If anything, it prompted me to do further research and establish some more facts on an incident I'd previously never heard of and I'd like to congratulate the film makers on such an astonishingly good achievement.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A surprise documentory, 3 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. C. Michael Douse "Passionate" (st albans, hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
A compassionate and brutally inspired feat.

The hype and marketing behind this feature would have you believe it to be a surreal, 'A Scanner Darkly' style visually propelled film-noir esque fairy-tale war themed romp. But behind this animated sheen of temptation is a subtle daunting feeling, slowly cast over the audience, which increasingly funnels you into an emotive reaction correlating to that which is in actual fact reality - or at least, documentary.

Think of 'Waltz With Bashir' as a gradient like that which you'd find on a monochromatic strip a photographer would use to measure tonality. Unlike dynamic, a colourful 'Dulux' chart of different shades and tones; the way in which films are generally constructed (a film's dynamic), Waltz With Bashir grabs you by the intellect, reeling you into a slow, Godfather like storytelling - and slowly eats you up into the reality in which the essence of the film dwells.

Although the texture of the film changes as it progresses - it never reaches a sense of bitterness the subject matter would often lead you into when watching something which has been created to install a subtle sense of agreement between you and the directors original perspective. Not without humour, Waltz With Bashir attacks, from an imaginary first persons perspective, an entirely topical landmark in the war antiquity.

This imaginary characters reminiscence, although entirely fictional, is completely convincing in its message. Surrealism is used to visually, beautifully dictate emotions and incomprehensibly alien situations in an accessible way - grounding our unbias into a sea of will and understanding - never quite fulfilling the role of film makers secret propaganda which is so dangerously in the shadows of this feature film.

Slowly, as we reach the end of our journey - having known nothing about the history (or indeed the subject matter itself) we are left shocked, angered and disgusted - questioning, once again, the will of humanity and calculating the relevance of said subject matter within the context of today.

Waltz With Bashir is an incredibly visual, heart breaking and beautiful fictional film - with the after taste of knowledge and humanitarian guilt.

Fiction and surrealism never felt so real.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 24 Aug 2009
By 
A customer (Asturias) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Waltz with Bashir [DVD] [2008] (DVD)
This is a trully unforgetable movie about an Israeli soldier trying to remember the events of a fateful day in Beirut during the 1982 invasion.

Without going into the histocracity of the movie I would like to say that is not meant to be taken an historical accoint but as a personal recollection of the events.

I was very impressed with the animation with several novelties that make it stanning to watch. The soundtrack has a mixture of actors and real interviews with Israeli soldiers as well .

The human side of the story ,the futility of war ,the human cost are all perfectly reflected in the movie which also has a very moving and engaging.

Some reviewers give it one stars and call it propaganda but I feel Mr Folman made it very clear that this is not a documentary or an impartial view this is HIS OWN experience put into a film. If anything portraits the Palestinians as vicitms and the Israeli soldiers in the same way as some Vietman films show American soldiers as they walk in a Vietnamesse village and get a bit trigger happy.

Ari Folman ( director ) gives an interview about the film as an extra on the DVD where he explains his reasons for making the movie and his views on the events described in the movie.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning, 14 Aug 2009
By 
Ash (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
I bought this movie purely on the strength of a couple of reviews, and how glad I was to have trusted those writers. Waltz With Bashir is a truly stunning movie. The visuals are clearly the first thing to hit you, and they hit you hard - I have never seen a move that looks like this, it is truly unique. In bluray the lines are crisp and clear, characters are full of detail and realism whilst being slightly cartoonish. The animation has clearly been taken from live footage in a similar way to A Scanner Darkly, but the results are quite different and are superior, in my opinion.

The audio is also particularly brilliant - awesome music and sound effects sear from the 5.1 DTS track and fill the room.

In terms of artistry this definitely deserves a watch.

The plot is excellent and unusal, and touches on subjects I was certainly unaware of, having grown up in the 1980s with little interest in the news. The interviews with the film maker's friends feel naturalistic and, I assume, were probably completely unscripted. The interview with his friend living in Holland is of particular note, with his young children capering in the background adding a welcome touch of humour.

It is a slight shame there is no option to have dubbed vocals - I have no problem with subtitles, but on this occasion you want to drink in the imagery so much that it is hard to make yourself read the subs.

I heartily recommend this to those who enjoy documentaries, war films, or simply great and honest art. The ending in particular is one of the most powerful in modern cinematic history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Visual feast and serious, 16 July 2009
From the fantastic opening sequence to all the scenes where the soldier is raving, running & fighting, "Waltz with Bashir" is really is fantastic testimony of the horror civilians - and soldiers- have gone through.

The animated side is here to magnify the story and increase its impact. It never gets in the way.

Just see it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I wanted to forget. I didn't want to relive those moments"., 3 Jun 2011
By 
@GeekZilla9000 "I am completely operational a... (Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK.) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
Waltz With Bashir is a documentary charting the journey of Ari Folman as he interviews old military comrades in an attempt to jog his memory over events in Beirut during the Lebanon war.

Instead of using actual video footage, the film uses animation to bring together visual recreations of events alongside interviews with those from his past (and present). The animation style utilises different techniques to bring a unique look to the film. Classic hand drawn animation is sometimes used for rural backdrops with computer generated 3D moments during some scenes. As well as 'proper' 3D where we experience moving around the landscape there is frequent use of 2D planes to build up a sense of depth. Some parts of the film use different methods more than others, but the overall look is a blend of style to create a distinct aesthetic quality. Cityscapes and vehicles look incredible, it's perhaps best demonstrated in a scene where we see a tank navigating through city streets, crushing cars and squeezing through gaps.

The animation is fluent and not jerky, but abrupt ends to human movement remind you that they are computer generated, however they do look surprisingly realistic with their nuances and they capture the subtly of human communication well. It's almost as if the animators have studied video footage of the subjects and incorporated every little hand movement and expression change, and perhaps they did.

As Folam travels and hears first person accounts we are given a soldier's-eye-view of the war. Vague recollections seem pretty common and it's easy to see why, as the awful sights they experienced aren't the sort of thing a person likes to think about or be reminded of. The soldiers aren't even aware of their inbuilt desire to forget atrocities which could easily drive them to breakdown - the process of burying them appears to be a natural one. There are also conscious efforts made to try and distance themselves from the horrors around them. During scenes of war they try to 'get on with it' and attempt to dehumanise events. This emotional detachment helps them to deal with the loss of life.

The film doesn't seem to be judging or taking sides, it's simply giving us personal stories and this excuses it from any accusations of incorrect portrayals. The first person viewpoint really puts you there and there's a real sense that what you see is a representative depiction how the interviewee saw it. Some say that the historical accuracy of this is flimsy at best, but it doesn't matter really - this is told as a series of intimate personal stories where the individual versions of events have been warped and shaped by a subconscious desire to bury the memories.

This blu-ray package impresses visually, many of the scenes in the film consist of one colour with dark shadows and the clean transfer helps it to look moody without dampening the effect with compression articles and digital noise. The audio is crystal clear and whether you're watching a scene set in a café or a clip of destruction - every little sound can be made out. The soundtrack is reminiscent of some of the modern classic war films (such as Platoon or Full Metal Jacket) and consists of atmospheric classical numbers alongside more rock and roll ones too. The extras aren't extensive but they do cover how the animation was achieved and explore Ari Folman's personal quest to get the film made which touches on the politics behind the feature.

In a nutshell: This shouldn't be considered as a balanced documentary, artistic license is well used here and the film presents personal experiences rather than a de-facto account of events. It's not the easiest film to watch and is perhaps aware of its own self-importance but it's worth it, it concludes with a short non-animated sequence which is a shocking and powerful reminder as to why films like this need to be made.
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Waltz with Bashir [DVD] [2008]
Waltz with Bashir [DVD] [2008] by Ari Folman (DVD - 2009)
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