Animated Documentary and the Scene of Death: Experiencing Waltz with Bashir

Publisher:
Duke
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
South Atlantic Quarterly, 2011, 110 (4), pp. 949 - 962
Issue Date:
2011-01
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When brought together in the animated documentary, animation with its tradition of comic storytelling and gothic graphic fiction and the documentary film with its tradition of realism create new possibilities for understanding the relationship between spectatorship and memory. In this form memory and reality are volatile and changeable, yet believable. In the Israeli film Waltz with Bashir (dir. Ari Folman, 2008), the animated form of the bulk of the film is ultimately juxtaposed with television footage and still shots of the massacre within the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. The film's final sequence of live footage, some of which would have appeared on most of our television screens across the world, makes of those passing seconds a death scene. As a death scene we see again but really for the first time the horror and the miracle of survival. The preceding animation with its intertwining flows of dreams and reality not only interrogates but enacts how memory can be seen.
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