Blog Post 1 "Waltz for Bashir."

by GillianMaskell on September 20, 2017 - 11:01pm

2. A number of the films deal with issues of authorship and whose voice should be used in telling a story. Whose stories are being told in films (or in a specific film) we watched in class? Who should tell these stories? 

As far as who should tell a story, I think the authorship all really depends on the subject matter of the film, and what kind of film that is being examined. It does seem as though most movies are portrayed through a third person looking in sort of deal. Though usually if there is a movie with a narrative story it is usually narrated by the main character. As far as main character or a few main characters, or if the characters themselves are not telling the story, the main plot focuses on their perspective of the story. Sometimes movies have a first person perspective. In a documentary film, I feel like it is best to have the story of the subject matter, told by either those who were there during the events, are living through them or having things reeacted from descriptions from primary source documents. What better way to really understand what happened, and how people felt during a historical event then to hear it from someone who lived through it. A movie that we watched in class that is a perfect example of this is “Waltz with Bashir.”
 
      Waltz with Bashir,”   is an animated documentary drama film, which is directed, produced and created by Ari Folman. The animatation of the documentary really allows for a unique experience for the viewer, allowing them to get a more in depth understanding of what when on, what emotions were felt etc., without the film getting to graphic for the most part. Folman served during the 1982 Lebanon war at just the young age of 19, he was a witness to horrors such as the Sabra and Shatila massacre, later these massacres would be labeled official acts of Genocide by the United Nations. Though Folman fought during the war, and even witnesses many tragedies, he could not remember anything from his experiences during the Lebanon war. He realized he had no memories after speaking to one of his friends who had fought in the war as well, his friend told him about a recurring nightmare that he has where 26 dogs chased him, his friend concluded that it must be a nightmare as a result of having to shoot 26 dogs during the war to keep them from blowing the cover of the battalion. Folman's decided  to interview people he had served and fought along side with in order to try to bring back his memories, an autobiography told by other people per say. Folman intereviewed Ron Ben-Yishai, who is an Israeli Jourmalist, Ronny Dayag, Ori Sivan who is also a film maker, Dror Harazi, Shmuel Frenkel. From speaking to them Folman was able to get as close as possible to what he went through during the war. I think it is interesting to note that Folman questions why his friend who intially relied on him to vent to came to him in the first place.  Folmen said that he was not a shrink, but a film maker, and the friend noted that couldn't it be the same thing?  I can imagine that this process of interviewing his comrades could have been very hard to relive those stories and memories that it could be very theraputic for them as well, for them to get it off their chest. All in all I felt this was a very well constructed documentary, like mentioned before it is very unique and allows for a different perspective that is not always offered in most documentaries. 

Comments

Gillian: over all a good initial reaction to the film, though I am not sure if documentary is the right term for it! By that I mean it was self reflective but one-sided, maybe it was my reaction to it being animated.

I will look to see what the cultural reaction to the film in Israel was upon its release. Especially in the current political climate in Israel this would not be a film that is looked upon kindly. But do not get me started on the current attitude of Israeli's towards Palestinians.

One thing that I would like to find out is the actual attitude of the local Lebanese Muslim population towards the refugees.

Thank you for your feedback, and for the link with more info.

http://truthngo.org/remembering-sabra-shatila-massacre-35-years/

Check out the above link for more info on the massacre!

While I agree this film does make a good documentary, I do think a perspective was left out of the film. The film focuses entirely on different soldiers experiences during the documentary while leaving out the perspective of a common citizen that may have been on the other side of the gun. I think it paints a different picture and can really show the horror that was captured at the end of the documentary. Would we still think the same of those depicted throughout the film? Would we have less sympathy? I think these questions are addressed with more viewpoints than just soldiers. While the film gives major incite of the events of the war, a common man's view may just have been effective or paint the whole story. Overall, I still think its good film, I just want a full picture considering when what voices should be used to tell the story of the war.

I never really considered that prospecive of the citizen, that really has me thinking differently now.