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Waltz with Bashir(Vals Im Bashir)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

Israel, France, Germany
·
2008

Rated R · 1h 30m

Director Ari Folman
Starring Ari Folman, Ron Ben-Yishai, Dror Harazi, Ronny Dayag
Genre Animation, Documentary, Drama, War
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In this autobiographical film, Ari Folman uses animation to tell the story of his time as a young soldier in Lebanon. After witnessing a massacre, Folman discovers he has no memory of the event. In reaching out to other soldiers involved, he is able to recover memories and analyze his relationship with PTSD.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

60

The Hollywood Reporter by

The chosen style of animation leads to a distracting choppiness that renders the movements, gestures and facial expressions of the interviewees unconvincing. The other problem is that, memory naturally being something that returns in fits and starts, the film is rarely able to sustain any consistent narrative thrust.
100

Empire by Dan Jolin

A bravura documentary which balances the personal and the political as it peers into the First Lebanon War, its animated approach never feeling like a novelty. Astonishing, unforgettable: you have to see it.
90

Newsweek by David Ansen

The images of war that Folman and his chief illustrator, David Polonsky, conjure up have a feverish, infernal beauty. Dreams and reality jumble together.
80

New York Daily News by Elizabeth Weitzman

This animated documentary, from former Israeli soldier Ari Folman, blends both tactics to devastating effect. Perhaps only animation could give us the distance that makes his subject bearable: the personal cost of his own participation in the 1982 Lebanon War.
80

Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Ari Folman's broodingly original Waltz With Bashir -- one of the highlights of the last New York Film Festival -- is a documentary that seems only possible, not to mention bearable, as an animated feature.
100

Wall Street Journal by Joe Morgenstern

An absolute stunner, a feature-length animated documentary, from Israel, in which the force of moving drawings amplifies eerily powerful accounts of war, shaky remembrance and rock-solid repression.
100

Los Angeles Times by Kenneth Turan

Provocative, hallucinatory, incendiary, this devastating animated documentary is unlike any Israeli film you've seen. More than that, in its seamless mixing of the real and the surreal, the personal and the political, animation and live action, it's unlike any film you've seen, period.
75

The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson

The trouble with Bashir's extraordinary technique is that it lacks the confrontational realism of live footage; the extreme stylization of the animation can be distancing, making it hard to relate the images to real events and people. But that's also part of Folman's point.

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