Thursday, 12 April 2012

Transcription: Film Review on Waltz with Bashir (2008)

Director: Ari Folman
Producer: Ari Folman, Serge Lalou,Gerhard Meixner, Yael Nahlieli, Roman Paul
Year: 2008

This extraordinary animated documentary by Ari Folman unfolds some of the tragedies behind the Sabra and Chatila massacres of the 1982 Lebanese war, which according to him Israel has decided to forget about. His masterpiece is something like a mix between a dream and a trip down memory lane, a hyper-real rotoscoped footage that tells the stories of the interviewees in the most capturing way. Peter Bradshaw points out that: "The film uses hyperreal rotoscope-animation techniques, similar to those made famous by Bob Sabiston and Richard Linklater. Live-action footage on videotape has been digitally converted into a bizarre dreamscape in which reality is resolved into something between two and three dimensions." (Bradshaw.2008)
Fig.2: The scenery
What made the film so unique was for its clever of colours and shadows. The two most common colours used in the film is yellow and black, one for used for brightness and the other for shadows. It is rather amazing how those to colours was all that the film needed to portray the events of war, like overhanging clouds not letting the light of the sun peak through them and the toxic yellow sky often symbolizing the war aftermath. Even the way the shadows used  to cover up parts of the characters' faces and the eyes always always appeared bright under their helmets or under a casting shadow.
Perhaps the most shocking part of the film is the ending where Folman turns the stylised animation into a real news footage. The sudden shot of an angelic child's face emerging from the rubble, was a reality-shock, a reminder that the events actually happened and are not just made up stories that interviewees made for the sake of the film. " 'Waltz' is by no means the world’s only animated documentary, a phrase that sounds at first like a cinematic oxymoron." (Scott.2008)This film is no story, but a documentary based on real life experiences told by real life figures
Fig.3: The animation turning into reality. 

List of Illustrations

Fig.2:    At:  (11/3/2012)
Fig.3:   At:  (11/3/2012)


Bradshaw Peter (2008). Waltz with Bashir   At: (accessed on 12/4/2012)

A.O Scott (2008) Inside a Veteran’s Nightmare At: (accessed on 12/4/2012)

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