Waltz with Bashir (2008)



Critic Consensus: A wholly innovative, original, and vital history lesson, with pioneering animation, Waltz With Bashir delivers its message about the Middle East in a mesmerizing fashion.

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Movie Info

Director Ari Folman's animated, quasi-documentary Waltz With Bashir follows the filmmaker's emotional attempt to decipher the horrors that unfolded one night in September of 1982, when Christian militia members massacred more than 3,000 Palestinian refugees in the heart of Beirut as Israeli soldiers surrounded the area. Folman was one of those soldiers, but nearly 20 years after the fact, his memories of that night remain particularly hazy. After hearing an old friend recall a vivid nightmare in which he is pursued by 26 ferocious dogs, Folman and his friend conclude that the dream must somehow relate to that fateful mission during the first Lebanon War. When Folman realizes that his recollections regarding that period in his life seem to have somehow been wiped clean, he travels the world to interview old friends and fellow soldiers from the war. Later, as Folman's memory begins to emerge in a series of surreal images, he begins to uncover a truth about himself that will haunt him for the rest of his days. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
R (for some disturbing images of atrocities, strong violence, brief nudity and a scene of graphic sexual content)
Animation , Art House & International , Documentary , Special Interest
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Ari Folman
as an Israeli
Ron Ben-Yishai
as an Israeli
Yehezkel Lazarov
as Carmi Can'an
Ori Sivan
as an Israeli
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Critic Reviews for Waltz with Bashir

All Critics (145) | Top Critics (41)

Persepolis meets Full Metal Jacket in Ari Folman's powerful and original animated war film.

Full Review… | September 13, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

These depictions of the dementia of war have a hallucinatory power that can stand alongside those of Apocalypse Now.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

The message of the futility of war has rarely been painted with such bold strokes.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Special, strange and peculiarly potent.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Top Critic

The look of Waltz with Bashir is what is most arresting. It's a deep, multi-plane style of animation that incorporates photo-real settings, realistic renderings of the people and under-animated movement, especially of faces.

Full Review… | July 15, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A wholly original and emotionally devastating animated documentary confessional.

Full Review… | February 20, 2009
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Waltz with Bashir


This animated movie tells the story of a film-maker visiting former comrades from the time of Isreali-Palestinian war. For some reasons, Ari does not remember details of a certain battle and hopes for his old friends to fill in the gaps. In the shape of a quasi-documentary he interviews the former soldiers and slowly pieces the puzzle of a special massacre together, told in flashback sequences. The animation is very unusual but quite brilliantly solved, simplistic yet effective and impressive. In many regards this film does not have to hide behind the classic war films to describe the terrors. To add real footage of the victims of the massacre in the last seconds was not really necessary, though.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Waltz With Bashir is an animated documentary (possibly made out of guilt) that artfully accounts the filmmaker's forgotten, but haunting memory of the 1982 Lebanon War, Sabra and Shatila Massacre. Ugly history presented with irresistible creativity and charm. A strong and powerful work that explores the psychological trauma by warfare. The God-awful screams at the end are haunting.

Jan Marc Macababayao
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer


Lavish and innovative animation only strengthen what is a bold and hard hitting document of the atrocities of war and the toll conflict takes on the mindset of those thrust into the middle of it. A gorgeous and powerful work of art.

Michael S
Michael S

Super Reviewer

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