WALTZ WITH BASHIR
One-Sided, Pornographic History Lesson
Release Date: December 25, 2008
Starring: The voices of people being
Runtime: 90 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Ari Folman
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Ari Folman, Yael Nahlieli,
Serge Lalou, Gerhard Meixner,
and Roman Paul
Writer: Ari Folman
Address Comments To:Michael Barker, Tom Bernard and Marcia Bloom
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833; Fax: (212) 833-8844
Web Page: www.sonyclassics.com
The narrative opens with two former Israeli soldiers trying to recall the 1982 occupation of Lebanon by Israeli forces and a few of the battles that took place. The massacre at the two Arab camps occurs after a Syrian bombing plot to assassinate the newly elected Christian President Bashir Gemayel succeeds on Sept. 14, 1982. The movie blames the Israeli army leadership for enabling the subsequent massacre, which occurred from Sept. 16 until the morning of the 18th.
WALTZ WITH BASHIR is as much an antiwar movie as it is a commentary on a war crime. The revelations about the massacre actually don’t occur until the movie’s second half. The animation is visually stunning, but the film’s narrative is choppy.
Conveniently, the filmmakers neglect to mention the years of violent attacks and massacres against Christians by Yassir Arafat’s terrorist group, the PLO, which migrated to Lebanon after King Hussein of Jordan kicked them out in 1970-71. Thousands of Lebanese Christians have fled that country because of the PLO and because of vicious attacks by Muslims and Syria, which started occupying Lebanon in 1976 and began siding with the PLO in 1978. One wonders when someone will make a movie about these massacres and events.
Besides being very one-sided, WALTZ WITH BASHIR contains some strong foul language and a lengthy scene of animated hardcore pornography when an Israeli commander watches a porn video. The movie also contains other shots of graphic nudity, including full male and female nudity, during a couple dream sequences. The movie’s graphic violence, nudity and especially the hardcore porn scene add up to an abhorrent experience.
This movie should be rated NC-17 or X, not R. Its one-sided treatment of Israel and of Lebanese Christians could result in more terrorist violence against Jews, Christians and Israelis. Of course, history shows that radical Muslim jihadists often murder as many Arabs and Muslims as they do Christians and Jews. Too many Arabs and Muslims have stood by and let all of this great evil happen. And, the whole world continues to stand by while Christian communities like those in Lebanon continue to be slaughtered in various parts of the world.
WALTZ WITH BASHIR is as much an antiwar movie as it is a commentary on a war crime. The revelations about the massacre actually don’t occur until the movie’s second half. The animation is visually stunning, but the narrative is choppy. The movie’s history is a bit one-sided and politically correct. Also, the movie contains some foul language, very strong violence, explicit nudity and a very graphic sex scene from a porn video that’s animated. To include such a pornographic scene in any kind of movie is abhorrent. By doing it, the filmmakers just shot themselves in the foot.