movie film review | chris tookey

Waltz With Bashir

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  Waltz With Bashir Review
Tookey's Rating
6 /10
Average Rating
8.25 /10

Directed by: Ari Folman
Written by: Ari Folman

Released: 2008
Origin: Israel
Colour: C
Length: 90

MIXED Reviews

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Folman nullifies engagement with his on-screen proxy protagonist by segueing back and forth between others' recollections. Such diversions, however, make strategic sense in light of the fact that Folman's own story is predictably telegraphed from the outset, with it tediously clear that what he's suppressed is involvement (of a sort) in the massacres of Muslims at Sabra and Shatila perpetrated by Israeli-supported Christian Lebanese militants shortly after the assassination of president-elect Bashir Gemayel. The way the human psyche denies, mutates and embellishes as a means of coping with extremity—and guilt, even of merely abetting—is a topic the director intimately understands, but Waltz with Bashir makes its point early on and then restates repeatedly and, when the action shifts to back-and-forth chats between Folman and pals, quite drearily. While sights such as Folman and two other soldiers rising from the water at night as flares fall around them have a trancelike loveliness, their ability to convey Folman's detachment from wartime horrors is ultimately too successful, creating a sense of remoteness that's both enervating and schematic.
(Nick Schager, Slant)

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