Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Waltz with Bashir

On a similar theme I saw one of the most amazing, intense, harrowing movies I've ever seen in QFT at the weekend.

It's the story of the massacre of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in Lebanon when Lebanese 'christian' militia were allowed (and indirectly assisted) by the Israeli army to rape, pillage and slaughter around 3000 defenceless civilians over 3 days in September 1982.

Read about the massacre here- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabra_and_Shatila_massacre
and the movie here- http://waltzwithbashir.com/

The maker of the film was a soldier in the Israeli army at the time of the massacre and the film shows his attempts to recover his memories of the incident. His own attempts seem to ask the question of whether Israel itself has made made a mass, semi-conscious decision to forget.

The movie is shot as an animated documentary except for some real footage at the end. When it finished nobody moved. Everyone just sat rooted to the spot staring at a black screen for what seemed like an age, reminding me of when I first watched 'Schindler's List'.

So many questions fly round your mind after. Issues of war, mankind's potential for evil, the brutal oppression of the palestinians, the repression of unwanted memories, our world view, the world's view of christians etc etc.

Highly recommended.


Anonymous said...

Hi John,

It seems you have a real passion for the middle east.
Do you think this is because you live in N Ireland and have seen similar atrocities?
I think it is what our generation has been through that gives us a good standpoint on things.

It used to make me angry when American media would report on N Ireland, they had no idea what they were reporting and no sense of the pain.
I remember my friend going to Boston and walking into a pub and to his horror seeing an open coffin filled to the brim with money, above this coffin was a sign that read GIVE A DOLLAR TO HELP KILL A BRITISH SOLDIER.

People who are outside the situation can never understand and can only make matters worse.
So I am glad that you John have taken the time to study both sides of this conflict and see evil as being evil no matter what religious dress it wears.

Jason Mahood

Jen said...

yeah read some amazing reviews in my empire mag a few months ago. Was it really harrowing? I went to see changeling and it was too. Obviously this film is much more recent- must make an effort to see it.

Feminine Feminist said...

Wasn't it AMAZING. I saw it in QFT and loved it... and didn't even mind the move to real images at the end. My favourite scene was when he was chatting with his friend in the garden in the Netherlands.

It was like a post-trauma therapy session and a film all in one: moving and yet challenging.