One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can't remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.Written by
Waltz with Bashir may not deliver everything you expect after seeing the trailers, but it is powerful. Director Ari Folman presents a personal view of historic events in which he took part as a young soldier, but which he cannot remember due to repression. A full-length documentary, filmed with animation over the recorded speech of actual participants in the 1982 Lebannon War, Waltz with Bashir is beautifully done and get its message across clearly.
It's a shame that some of the stronger artistic points in the movie were left undeveloped, such as the imaginary ghost of the soldier's ex-girlfriend following him around (as seen in the trailer). The way comedy and tragedy are interspersed in the latter parts of the film may also seem inappropriate to some viewers. The film presents a highly personal point of view for a documentary, justified partly by staying true to the factual material, and partly by its author having been there on the scene.
Overall, despite its shortcomings, this film makes a strong statement and is definitely worth seeing for its visuals and score.
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