Waltz With Bashir

Director: Ari Folman
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 2.0

Director Folman can't remember the details of the war he helped fight, as an Israeli, against Lebanon, so he leaves it to comrades to 'stir' his memory - what they conjure is a fantasist rethink of war, more like cut-rate Fellini mind droplets than potent collective memoir. The use of rotoscoping is interesting but also draws up extremely unfortunate comparisons with the far superior Waking Life - while Linklater's film was a wistful experiment in thinking and philosophizing, Folman really made this as an act of cinema-therapy. There's a sense of shaky defensiveness when it brings up the issue of Palestinian massacres - and the comparison between the soldiers and politicians 'ignoring' the atrocities the way some 'ignored' the sick truth of the Holocaust camps - but then it tries to reassure itself (and maybe the audience) that everything that could be done was done and leaves it at that. I understand the use of real-life footage of corpses at the conclusion to denote the director's 'awakening,' but that doesn't make it feel like anything other than a ploy for sympathy - sorry, but a sad shrug, some Max Richter music and a weak declaration that war is hell doesn't exactly get at core of an unbelievably complex political situation.