Earlier this week I had a piece in the Guardian about Israeli cinema. There is absolutely nothing, not even the US elections, more guaranteed to induce flame wars on the internet than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Nonetheless I am going to stick my neck out and commend to British readers a film which opens here nationwide, today, Waltz with Bashir.
The film which has had outstanding reviews across the board, is a documentary in the form of an animated graphic novel about the events which occurred in 1982 during the Lebanon war when Christian Phalangists aided by the Israeli army who turned a blind eye, entered the Sabra and Shatilla refugee camp and murdered 2500 Palestinians to avenge the assassination of their own leader.
Ari Folman's film is seen through the eyes of himself and his friends, men now in their forties, married with children and careers, attempting to look back at their nineteen year old selves, 25 years ago.
The film is primarily about memory, the recovery of suppressed trauma and personal responsibility. It's an anti-war film, and it understands that all wars are fought by young men, and all wars are really rock and roll wars.
The distributors, Artificial Eye, have taken a huge gamble on this film, hoping to attract across the board critical acclaim (it has) and a large audience for a subtitled film.
I urge you to go and see it if you can. You won't be disappointed