Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Ari Folman's "Waltz With Bashir," Part 1

WALTZ WITH BASHIR: A Lebanon War Story by Ari Folman and David Polonsky. Copyright © 2009 by Ari Folman / Bridgit Folman Films Gang. Published by arrangement with Metropolitan Books, an Imprint of Henry Holt and Company, LLC. All rights reserved.

Last month, I reviewed Israeli director Ari Folman's remarkable animated film "Waltz With Bashir," which I highly recommend seeing if it's in your area. I understand that the film was recently privately shown in Beirut, even though it's banned in Lebanon. It was also screened in the West Bank city of Ramallah and may soon be shown in the Arab gulf states, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "Waltz With Bashir" won the Golden Globe Award for best foreign film and is nominated for an Oscar in that category.

The autobiographical film focuses on Folman's army service during Israel's 1982 war in Lebanon and his repressed, traumatic memories of the massacre of hundreds if not thousands of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps by Christian Phalangist militia. The Israeli Defense Forces let them into the camps, supposedly to root out terrorists. A commission of inquiry found Ariel Sharon, then serving as defense minister, indirectly responsible for the massacre and forced him to resign.

A book version of the film will soon arrive, according to TomDispatch, which I thank for permission to show the excerpt above. I'll be showing two more excerpts soon. To read the pages, click on the thumbnails above in succession.

To read an interview with Folman, click here. The linked page also features a video showing an interview of Folman with film excerpts.

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