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Parents' Guide to

Waltz with Bashir

By Alistair Lawrence, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Animated Israeli docu has trauma, graphic violence, sex.

Movie R 2008 90 minutes
Waltz with Bashir movie poster

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 17+

Based on 1 parent review

age 17+

an animated film that uses the medium to portray difficult topics

When this film was released I bet it was a big deal. But now in the wake of Flee and more dynamic films like Wolfwalkers it feels a bit different to watch this film. However, the film is still strong in that it is trying to get closer to telling a story of trauma, searching your humanity when you participated in inhumanity and the death of innocent lives. The film takes you on a journey and at the end the medium gives way to the faces and voices of those who lost so much during the 1982 Lebanese War.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

An unusual mix of journalism, dramatization, and animation, this autobiographical documentary attempts an examination of what war does to its participants, primarily writer and director Folman. Waltz with Bashir's illustrated and animated interviews with fellow veterans of the 1982 Lebanon War give the events and effects discussed a dream-like quality that often represent traumatizing real-life history. It also helps Folman uncover repressed memories of his participation in combat.

With a slow and unwinding pace, this series of conversations sometimes struggles to stay engaging. The animated dream sequences and dramatizations of historical events that intercut many of the interviews become repetitive in places, too, meaning that anyone without a strong interest in this period of history or in psychology might experience diminishing returns. Undoubtedly a labor of love and a painstakingly personal project, Waltz with Bashir does, however, avoid ever feeling self-indulgent on the part of its creator. As its horrifying finale holds the tragic impact of war on ordinary people in the spotlight, it is uncensored and the animation certainly doesn't soften its impact.

Movie Details

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