The animation film Waltz with Bashir by Ari Folman is a war- documentary about himself searching for his lost memories from the 1982 Lebanon war.
Folman's piece is quite difficult to put into a genre within documentary film making. It is completely animated, what makes it an exciting, cruel and beautiful way to reconstruct his memories, fantasies, hallucinations, possibilities, past and present.
This documentary shows the truth not only in a poetic way, which uses the war event and transforms it into a more abstract, lyrical form, but also gives us a participatory and performative way to connect with us as an audience.
In 1982, Ari Folman himself was a soldier during Israel's first invasion of Lebanon, which makes this film autobiographical. In his visionary search after his lost memories he is the encounter between himself and his friends and comrades, who fought with him during the war. Ari Folman's film is such a breathtaking success, because it has its own style. He can show scenes with immense brutality and cruelty, because it is real, but then not. The film can be classified as animation and documentary as well as history and fiction. Interesting is that Folman first shot his film on video and then assembled an animated version from the resulting storyboards.
All in all Ari Folman's Waltz with Bashir is a extraordinary documentary, which is a piece of investigative journalism.
Written by FK