Monday, February 02, 2009

Waiting for 'Waltz with Bashir'

I went to see Waltz with Bashir this week, not suspecting for a moment that the story it told would have anything to do with me.

That, it turns out, is precisely what the film is about. It has to do with everyone who has been in a war here, which is everyone here. It has to do with all those who have succeeded in getting on with their lives by turning a blind eye to, blaming away, repressing, or somehow ideologically reprocessing genuine, tangible horror. It has to do with the fear of memory here, the reluctance to look inward, the quiet terror over what one might actually uncover. And because it has to do with the moral failings of bitter enemies, we are, every one of us, in the movie.

Bradley Burston, Haaretz.

The article continues here.

And thank you to Giovanni, over at his truly interesting blog Bat, Bean, Beam - A Weblog on Memory and Technology - for alerting me to the fact that Waltz with Bashir was out there in his post titled Gaza.

6 comments:

Giovanni said...

I spent the last month urging people to go see this film, and have written about it myself, although not as eloquently as the article you cite.

Folman gave a very interesting interview - if a little dismaying in its observations regarding the film's reception - available here,

paris parfait said...

I've heard nothing but good things about this film. And of course it won a couple of awards in Hollywood - even the jaded filmmakers were moved - so will definitely seek it out over here.

Di Mackey said...

Giovanni, I needed to give you a nod for letting me know about the film, hmmm must add that. I'm really looking forward to seeing it, thank you.

It sounds remarkable, doesn't it Tara.

Peter said...

I followed your link to Bradley Burston's article in Haaretz
Di and found a quote that summed it up in one sentence:

---
"his film suggest that we now live in a post-moral world, a world in which, if nothing else, we can discern that both sides to this conflict commit grievous crimes, to little if any lasting effect, other than the injury done the victims on both sides."
---

Tonight at 23.25 "Nederland 2", the 2nd public TV network in Holland airs
"Hamas, the untold story", released in 2008.

"An In depth historic doc on Hamas and Palestine, by an Argentine film maker."

As for people who asked you to stop blogging on Palestine and Israel: I just read a poll indicating that many Belgians "had enough" watching that neverending conflict.

Our economy is crashing, people lose their jobs in droves: I suppose an ongoing 60 yo conflict in the ME is something they could care about less.

Di Mackey said...

What surprises me, Peter, is that people fail to see that if we don't resolve the 60 year old crises, as in land taken from a people, as happened in NZ and the Congo ...(although I believe an attempt has been made to deal with the 'problems' of colonisation in those two instances) then as soon as a country like Iran is fully armed, they can tap Israel on the shoulder and begin a conflict that effects the entire world.

It's fine to be sick of people being killed on both sides but we all may come to regret that fatigue one day ...

Giovanni said...

"his film suggest that we now live in a post-moral world, a world in which, if nothing else, we can discern that both sides to this conflict commit grievous crimes, to little if any lasting effect, other than the injury done the victims on both sides."

I can see some merit in this sentence, except for the characterisation that this attitude is "post-moral". It is, on the contrary, profoundly moral: the whole film is about uncovering a personal history of involvment in the harm done to others, of responsibility. And nowhere is that responsibility mitigated or explained away by realpolitik, or the crimes committed by the "other side". There is nothing more moral than that.

As for the fatigue bit... I can see how people might be fatigued by a coverage that tries to explain the conflict away: strategic advantage, breakdown in the talks, impending elections, power struggle. All phrases used to conceal or distract from the rain of bombs. It's history written by somebody with the attitude of a Kissinger. What we need is compassion, both in understanding the present and the history of the conflict. Nothing post-moral whatsoever about that either.