Memories, dreams and nightmares collide in Ari Folman’s deeply evocative and visually stunning feature, which set Cannes 2008 abuzz when it premiered in Competition this May. The talented Israeli director uses beautifully crafted, hand drawn animation, together with a powerful rock and classical soundtrack to create a captivating docu-drama, tracing the horrors and ethics of war from a young soldier’s view point. The viewpoint is that of the director Ari himself, seeking clarity about his teenage military service – a period which he had blocked from his memory.
One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari Folman about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images …
Waltz with Bashir was produced by Yael Nahliei, together with Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner and Roman Paul. Director of Animation was Yoni Gooman and Art Director and Illustrator was David Polonsky. Original Music was by British composer Max Richter.
Waltz with Bashir will be released by Artificial Eye in the UK and Ireland on November 21st. The film will screen as the Centrepiece Gala at the London Film Festival on Friday 24th October, and also at the UK Jewish Film Festival on Sunday 9th November.