Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Film Review: Waltz With Bashir (2008)

Waltz with Bashir is an Israeli animated war documentary film written and directed by Ari Folman in 2008. The film is very unique due to the fact that it was the first fully animated feature length film released in Israel for over 40 years and since its release has won awards such as a Golden Globe and nominations from BAFTA and the Academy Awards. Waltz With Bashir has also been banned in many Arab countries including Lebanon due to its graphic depiction of the dark Lebanon war.

The film follows Folman retracing his lost memory of the Lebanon war when he was a young infantry soldier. He visits old friends and fellow soldiers in order to remember specific events that took place in the dark time of his early life. As the film plays out more and more flashbacks and visions become clearer as well as showing interviews with other veterans of the war helping Forman to reconstruct his memory.

Although Waltz With Bashir shows us the very harrowing and grim events of the Lebanon War, the animation technique used creates a very beautiful feature. The thick black outlines paired with bold singular colours produces very vivid eye-catching scenes, making the whole film seem as though a comic book has come to life. However, there is something about how the film is presented that seems unnecessary. This is the idea that Folman is trying to remember the events of the war. In my opinion this factor didn't really need to be included and that the film would have been just as good if the plot had just been a linear timeline of the young soldier Folman fighting through the war without the need to cut to scenes of veterans been interviewed. This is because I thought that the scenes that showed memories of the war created immense intensity, and then all of a sudden that excitement is dropped back down to zero when the film cuts to an interview, making the feature seem staggered and stuttered. Apart from a small issue with the plot, I thought Waltz With Bashir was a very invigorating and eye opening piece of film making and animation. 

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