Waltz With Bashir, opening this week, is an extraordinary “animated” documentary by Ari Folman. The film follows Folman as he tracks down fellow soldiers from the Lebanon War of the early 1980s, in an attempt to document their experiences -- because he himself can recall very little of the war. The recounting is often surreal and horrific. One dreams nightly of being pursued by 26 snarling dogs; another soldier, whose regiment was wiped out, escapes into the ocean and swims alone one terrifying night; and one soldier, fond of patchouli, recklessly runs into the middle of a street during an ambush and spins and dances with his gun blazing. The memories creep closer to a nightmarish massacre that Folman has conveniently buried and hidden in his brain. The animation gives levels of strange beauty to this harrowing tale.
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