Walz with Bashir

by Ari Folman

As a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, Ari Folman took part in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon and was on duty in Beirut during the notorious massacres in the Palestinian refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila. Waltz with Bashir is an animated documentary film Folman directed in which he explores his own nightmarish, half-suppressed memories of that period. It was given its first underground screening in Lebanon -- not far, in fact, from Hezbollah headquarters in southern Beirut -- though the film is officially banned in that country. It has also been screened in Palestinian Ramallah and is reportedly soon to be shown in the Arab Gulf states. It has already won six Israeli Academy Awards, best foreign film at the Golden Globes, and is now nominated for an Oscar as best foreign film. The book of the same title is available or will soon be at your book store. Below is an exceprt made available by TomDispatch.com. Be sure to check out Tom's site for Part II. Subscribing to TomDispatch wouldn't be a bad idea either.