DVD: Waltz with Bashir (18)

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The Independent Culture

Waltz with Bashir has been banned in most Arab countries, and it's easy to see why.

It is an animated documentary film about the Sabra and Shatila massacre during the Lebanon War of 1982, a subject always likely to draw controversy from somewhere. The animation, made using an innovative and visually breathtaking mix of cutouts and traditional animation, makes the war seem both more poetic, but also more terrible at the same time. Scenes are repeated as the main character, Ari Folman, tries to reconstruct his memories of the war. This is a film that horrifies, working its anti-war message to full effect. Never is this more obvious than when the movie suddenly cuts to old news footage of the massacre. Screaming women walk towards camera crews that linger on the dead bodies of men, women and children, shocking the audience back to the reality of the events behind the animation. It is a film that lingers in your mind for days afterwards.