Waltz with Bashir
by Ari Folman
One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there's a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can't remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. It's not in his system. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in even more enigmatic images ...
In the mid 1980s, after completing his military service, Ari Folman ventured out on his dream trip to circle the world with a backpack. Just two weeks and two countries into the trip, Ari realized traveling was not for him, so he settled into small guesthouses in Southeast Asia and wrote letters to his friends at home, letters in which he totally fabricated the perfect trip. One whole year of being in one place and writing down the fruits of his fantastical imagination convinced him to return home and study cinema. His graduate film, »Comfortably Numb« (1991) documented Ari's close friends taking cover on the verge of anxiety attacks during the first Gulf war while Iraqi missiles landed all over Tel Aviv. The result was comical and absurd and the film won the Israeli Academy award for Best Documentary. Between 1991-1996 Ari directed documentary specials for TV, mainly in the occupied territories. In 1996 he wrote and directed »Saint Clara«, a feature film based on a novel by Czech author Pavel Kohout. The film won seven Israeli Academy awards, including Best Director and Best Film. »Saint Clara« opened the Berlin Film Festival's Panorama and won the People's Choice Award. The film was screened throughout America and Europe to critical acclaim. Ari continued directing successful documentary series and took time off for his second feature in 2001. »Made in Israel« is a futuristic fantasy that centers upon the pursuit of the world's only remaining Nazi. Ari has written for several successful Israeli TV series, including the award-winning »In Treatment« (Be Tipul), which was the basis for the new HBO series of the same name. Ari made his initial attempt at animation in his series »The Material that Love is made of« - each episode opens with five minutes of documentary animation which depicts scientists presenting their theories on the evolution of love. This successful attempt at documentary animation propelled Ari to develop the unique format of »Waltz with Bashir«. Based on a true story, the film is a quest into the director's memory for the missing pieces from the days of the Lebanon War in the mid 80s. As far as Ari was concerned, it was only natural to transform the quest into animation, full of imagination and fantasy.
»The Material that Love is made of« (documentary TV series) / Winner Israeli Television Academy Award for "Best Documentary Series"
»The Third Eye« (documentary TV series)
»Made in Israel« (feature) / Winner of two Israeli Academy Awards
»Saint Clara« (feature) / Winner of six Israeli Academy Awards, including "Best Director" and "Best Film" / Winner Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary Festival 1996 and Vienna 1997 / Winner People's Choice Award at the Berlin Festival 1996
»Comfortubaly Numb« (feature documentary) / Winner Israeli Academy Award for "Best Documentary"
Director, Writer, Producer: Ari Folman
Producers: Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul, Yael Nahlieli, Serge Lalou
Art Director + Illustrator: David Polonsky
Director Of Animation: Yoni Goodman
Editor: Nili Feller
Visual Effects Artist: Roiy Nitzan
Sound Designer: Aviv Aldema
Original Music: Max Richter
A production of: Razor Film, Bridgit Folman Film Gang, Les Films D'ici
In co-production with: arte France, ITVS International
In collaboration with: Noga Communications - Channel 8, The New Israeli Foundation for Cinema & T.V, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, Israel Film Fund, Hot Telecommunication System Ltd
Format: 35 mm /25fps / 1:1,85 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 87 Min.
Original Language: Hebrew
Original title: Waltz with Bashir