fallen/legen blog

Dienstagsfilm – Vals Im Bashir

von Mario Wimmer

Dienstagsfilm – Within this category we would like to recommend one movie a week to you, one movie that we consider special and inspiring, one movie that we think you might enjoy to watch on a cosy evening in front fo your DVD player.

We are still in this torn country where alliances, loyalities and borders are in constant flux, where events that you do not even recognice in the first place might bring deadly perils onto you and your beloved out of a blue and sunny sky. But this time when we visit Lebanon we are coming from a different angle: We are soldiers, soldiers from Israel, the good ones – or maybe not, it was long ago and we can not recall what happened back then clearly, we only have these strange dreams where we are chased by 26 dogs through a nightly town. We are Ari Folman, an israeli filmmaker on a journey to find out about what happend back then, we meet old friends and comrades, each of them holding surreal pieces of what might have been real back then.

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“Vals Im Bashir” (Waltz with Bashir) is not entirly fictional, it is not entirly documentational, it is based on real events, the Lebanon War and the massacre of Sabra and Shatila , the dialogues that the main character has with his former comrades and friends are real interviews, the dreams might be based on actual dreams he had, but nevertheless this movie is not documentational. It reaches beyond an ordinary documentation that is, no matter how good the editing or the narration, always bound to what you can observe, to the pictures it captured. A documentary is a constant struggle for the appropriate picture, the effort to always be in the right place at the right time, if you are not, there will be no pictures, no story, no documentary. But there are places, times and events where you might find it hard to be as a filmmaker. Combat zones are one such place, the inner workings, the psyche of a human is another. The great achievement of Ari Folman’s movie is to circumvent these problems by creating his own pictures of the real events he could not capture without falling for the temptation to also create the events.

But even if you do not want to think about the inner workings and restrictions of documentary filmmaking, “Vals Im Bashir” is a good movie insofar as he will teach you the most important lesson one can learn about the conflict in the Middle East: There are no goods, there are no bads, no black, no white, only shades of grey and the borders between these might change daily.

Vals Im Bashir | Ari Folman | Ron Ben-Yishai, Ronny Dayag, Gadi Erel, Ari Folman, Dror Harazi | 2008 | Razor Film | imdb, Wikipedia | Bilder © Pandora Film

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