20 March 2009

Waltz with Bashir

I went last night to see Waltz with Bashir (a friend and I wanted to catch it in theatres before it stopped showing), an Israeli animated film about a character struggling to regain memory of his time serving as an IDF during the first Lebanon War - specifically, the night of the Sabra and Shatila massacre. Such a political animated film about war may seem contradictory, but director Ari Folman treats it artfully. This is not to say it's ever anything less than tragic... it's absolutely devastating.
I noticed the color range in the film contributed much to its effect, leaping from almost monochrome to sharply brilliant. It's an interesting way to illustrate the way our memories, especially those of the horrors of war, can be so vivid whether or not they're "correct." We construct stories to seal the gaps, and similarly, we construct stories to conceal what we've experienced. Digging into the rifts can be valuable even when it uncovers a terrible truth about oneself. But the context of war strips away the human element, and that's probably the most detestable part about it.

No comments: