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PRINT November 2008

film

Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir

TEETH BARED, OCHER EYES BLAZING, the dogs of war are rampaging through the streets of a strangely depopulated Tel Aviv. The pack grows as it runs, until twenty-six howling horrors surround a nearly featureless building—gray like all the buildings in this desolate city, where the only color is the yellow-orange of the sky, dyed to match the dogs’ maddened eyes. From the sole window, a cowering figure looks down at the beasts that have come for his blood. This is the opening sequence and inciting narrative incident of Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir, which made its US debut at the New York Film Festival last month. That it is an animation—as is the entire film, excepting the devastating final newsreel images—does not diminish its terrifying impact.

The sequence depicts a recurrent nightmare, which the sufferer, a middle-aged Israeli named Boaz, recounts to Ari, the director of the very film

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