Haim is right that every Israeli should see “Waltz.” But so should anyone elsewhere whose country has marched thoughtlessly into war, or for that matter, anyone interested in the art of film. My article about the movie is now up at the American Prospect. Snippets:
Virtually the entire film is presented in film-noir animation. Folman thereby bends the boundaries of his genre (even more than the recent, partially animated “Chicago 10” did). “Waltz” may be to the documentary what Art Spiegelman’s Maus was to the novel. Strangely, animation makes the film less fictional. Not restricted to old footage, Folman can portray scenes that no one photographed, just as a historian can recreate the past with the written word…
Watching Sharon on screen, I realize that after years of writing about the Israeli leader, I am unsure I know the full extent of his culpability. On the night when Ben-Yishai called, how did Sharon go to sleep? Did the commission fail by not examining whether Sharon should face criminal charges? Afterward, how did he continue his political career? I was at the demonstration of 400,000 in Tel Aviv and the march through Jerusalem after the commission report and other protests too numerous to remember. Did we settle for too little?
Read the full article here.