April 14, 2017

Film Review: Waltz with Bashir

Figure 1: Movie Poster
Waltz with Bashir (2008) is directed by Ari Folman, who also wrote and starred in this animated film. This film is autobiographic, and tells the story of a man who is suffering from PTSD and memory loss after a night in 1982, when Christian militia members slaughtered more than 3000 Palestinian refugees in Beirut. The director, Folman was one of the soldiers who was there, and he goes on a journey to seek out others who were there so that he may be able to recall what happened that night and restore his memories.
“The flatness and stiff, jerky movement of the drawing contribute to the dreamlike, increasing dread-filled atmosphere of the visuals, which burst finally into actual filmed images of devastating impact.” (Richards, 2009)
As Richards describes, the animation is not smooth and realistic, or appealing. The animation is lifeless and flat and often leaves you wondering whether these characters are three dimensional or 2D, as they are inconsitant in movemment but also turn naturally for a 2D drawing. The film is outlined all over with think black lines which make you wonder what you are looking at, and all of these qualities together make you aware of the dream-like haze the director is describing, but also makes it very uneasy to watch.
Figure 2: Film Still
The end of the film is most shocking and frightening, when we see real life footage of those massacres, and we see real men, women and children dead in the streets on Beirut. The change from animation to real life represents many things, that these things are real and did take place, and also we are seeing a vague animation and then suddenly real life footage, just as Folman recovering his memory and suddenly going from a haze into reality.

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