In my effort to see a variety of animated material, I took out Waltz with Bashir from the library, which is the first documentary to be fully animated.
It is about Israeli veterans of the First Lebanon War, their stories, and 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre.
it was an extremely clever way to tell the stories of these men.
There was a storyline that was equally compelling that connected the stories, but I feel that this was an especially brilliant way to tell these “flashback” stories because it allowed for the documentarian/director Ari Folman, to go into each story in a visually vivid way.
There is a point in the movie when one of the men is saying that war is like a bad acid trip. I think that is the reason why using animation was such a powerful way make this movie.
It could have been done through live action, but it seems to me that any event or period in history that is highly tenuous and emotional also seems to be a bit surreal, and that feeling of disorientation was brilliantly captured through the animation.
Yet at the same time the movie stays grounded in reality, as well, by leaving the war scene and returning to the veteran talking.
It has a nice balance.
It’s not surprising that it won so many awards and was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign language film.
And, as an animator, it made me want to make a short animated documentary, which I never considered doing before viewing this movie.