Monday, January 12, 2009

Vals Im Bashir (Waltz With Bashir)

Wow!!! I’m absolutely impressed, speechless and my heart feels the size of one grain of sand. I do not watch war movies now, but I did before and then I stop; lately occasionally I do. This is the best ever war movie I have seen as none, no matter the awful things they show, has ever moved me like this film did. Totally understand that there are two extraordinary elements in this movie, first the way the story is told and second the use of animation that together blend into one quiet –but awfully strong- voyage into memories and recalling something that they want to forget for very good reasons.

As I knew and probably most of you do too, the story is about the massacre in a Palestinian refugee camp, but you have no idea how cleverly and attention grabber the story is told. It took me less than five minutes to be totally immersed in what I was seeing/listening and I was hypnotized by the visuals as well as by the story, so when animation becomes real footage tears started to pour from my eyes.

I have seen documentaries and movies with recreations from real events but with time, too much information and being exposed to too many stories your skin becomes hard and you tend to end up watching detached from what you see. But here it’s impossible to detach yourself and if you’re familiar with what Jews think about the Holocaust, then when finally you reach the massacre you will just feel what those young men were feeling there. Amazing that animation can tell and make you feel what “live” performances can no longer make you feel.

I have not read about this movie and I will not before publishing the post. This is a movie that I do not want any contamination from what others think. This is a movie that I strongly recommend as the most innovative and effective storytelling I have ever seen and definitively now I understand why it took Ari Folman four years to make, but the end product is spellbinding.

But in a way reminds me of Persepolis as both are extraordinary, the main difference is that this is a horrific story told in a powerful way with no humor or comic intend to ease the terrible story, but just recreating young men dreams and what they witnessed first hand.

The film has many honors, awards, and accolades; please browse the blog to find many, including yesterday’s Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. This film surely will be in the Academy Awards, obviously in the Best Foreign Language Film category; but I remember that also does qualify for Best Animated Film and I would not be surprised to see the film in that category.

This is a movie that I’ll will see again, not for the story but looking forward to understand the amazing storytelling technique as if you’re interested in cinema beyond the “entertaining” related issues, then you really have to analyze it to uncover how they were able to so effectively immerse viewers in this amazing emotional voyage. I know that I’ll be thinking about this movie for a long time and honestly, I do not mind at all.

Definitively a must be seen even if you do not like to watch war movies.


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