Last week, my grandmother and I went to the Lev Smadar cinema in the German Colony to see Waltz with Bashir, an animated film that explores themes of war, trauma, cruelty and innocence through interviews with IDF soldiers who witnessed the Sabra and Shatila massacre.
It took me and my grandmother two tries to see this movie. The first time, the theater was actually showing Caos Calmo instead. Since the Smadar is a one-theater cinema, we bought tickets for "the movie" at the box office. We didn't realize we'd made a mistake until, several minutes into the movie, it dawned on us that the live-action Italian film we were watching really was the main feature. (20 minutes in, my grandmother leaned toward me and said, a little too loudly, "I don't think this is Waltz with Bashir!") But we decided to relax and make lemonade from the lemons we'd been dealt, as they say. We'd come back for Waltz with Bashir another time.
This is all by way of saying: Waltz with Bashir was incredible. I was expecting something like Waking Life (which I found disappointing). But in fact, this film was more like an Israeli Grave of the Fireflies. I think everyone should watch it, but particularly those of you who are interested in genocide, or the military, or Middle Eastern politics, or the psychological effects of trauma.
Here's a trailer, in case my sales pitch didn't convince you:
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