Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Day Sixty-Four: Waltz With Bashir (2008) - Rank 5/5
The is definitely one of the best films I've seen in theaters this year, and one of the best "animated" films I've ever viewed as well. It follows Ari Folman a war veteran and filmmaker as he tries to make sense of the dreams/flashbacks he's been having of his time served in the Lebanon War. Each new colleague visited shares his dreams or nightmares with Ari, and those visions often bleed over into reality, creating a beautiful, yet surreal world.
At it's heart, "Watlz With Bashir" (Israel's first, feature-length animated film) is a quasi-documentary, intended to illustrate (double entendre intended) the consequences of war on the soldiers involved - of the regret or repression of memories that can come to pass as time progresses. As Ari struggles to make sense of his own reoccurring vision, pieces slowly fall into place and you find yourself both wondering and worrying about what images his mind has gone to such great lengths to repress.
There are many elements of this movie that certainly would have been tough to watch/swallow had it been live action. The process used, a mix of cel and Flash animation, has a unique look all it's own. The choice to animated the film was a superb one, allowing the screen to be filled with some gorgeous artistry while depicting some of the horrors of war. In my mind, if a movie can take a topic so sensitive as repressed trauma and the slaughter of civilians and turn it into something beautiful to behold and utterly moving, then it truly is a superior piece of filmmaking.
Watch the Trailer