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Movie Review: Waltz with Bashir

Alternate Title: Persistence of Memory

Story: Director and writer Ari Folman may have invented a new form of filmmaking. His compelling animated movie is actually a documentary about the Sabra and Shatila massacre in September of 1982. The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militiamen entered two Palestinian refugee camps with the permission of the Israeli Defense Forces. The militiamen then massacred the civilians inside. It was argued that the Israelis should have known that a massacre could occur, considering the assassination of Phalangist leader and prospective president Bashir Gemayel two days before, and given the long history of bad blood between the Palestinians and the Phalangists.

Director Folman cannot remember what happened in 1982 while he served at these battles and his dreams are haunting him. The film recreates vividly the nightmares, the actual battles and interviews some of the men he fought with 25 years ago. This anti-war film covers serious questions about guilt, misery, poverty, violence and responsibility.

This memory piece will stir you and leave you exhausted. The ending is stunning.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKC5q4dxXQ8

Here's Ari Folman discuss his film: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fU7Q3_n-UWM

Trivia: Waltz With Bashir, was accomplished by just eight animators and four illustrators, with David Polonsky doing 80% of the designs. Since its enthusiastic reception at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Waltz With Bashir has landed on many top 10 lists and won several accolades, including six awards from the Israeli Film Academy, one being best picture; foreign-language film at the British Independent Film Awards and animated film from the Los Angeles Film Critics' Assn. It's also nominated for a Golden Globe for foreign-language film.

Predilection: None

Critters: There are 26 very angry frightening dogs that repeatedly appear in someone's nightmares. For those that like to knowing advance, one of these dogs is shot. There is also a horrifying scene with dying Arabian horses. Keep in mind, this is all animated, but very real.

Sex Spectrum: No sex, but there is animated frontal nudity.

Soundtrack: An amazing eclectic mix.

Opening Titles: The abovementioned 26 dogs appear to be chasing us. Very scary.

Visual Art: Beautiful animation.

Theater Audience: Five other people

Squirm Scale: War is very squirmy.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Perhaps.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen

Length: 90 minutes