'Waltz with Bashir' - Movie Review

"Waltz with Bashir" was written and directed by Ari Folman (released in 2008), and is an animated documentary of his attempts to recover his own memories of fighting in the 1982 Lebanon War (he's Israeli). His memories start to return after a talk with a friend, who relates a dream of dogs coming to kill him - the mesmerizing dream sequence that opens the movie. Folman then talks to friends and previous army associates to try to find out what happened - much of it relating to the (very real) Sabra and Shatila Massacre.

The worst thing about the version I saw was that it was English dubbed by not very good actors. And the animation ... the animation varied between appalling and dazzlingly brilliant. The animators had no idea (or at least no interest) of how a human face or body moved. But individual frames were frequently fantastic works of art, and some of the animated sequences were superb. It was a strange conglomeration. And underlying this are the stories of the interviewees: friends, a psychologist (on the subject of memory), and army associates of Folman's. And this horrible story builds quietly.

I wish the animation were better. And yet ... would it be what it is without the animation? It's a fantastic movie. See it.