Waltz With Bashir

Rated 4.0

Ari Forman’s Oscar-nominated Waltz With Bashir is an effective attempt at mixing the sobering reality of documentaries with the dreamlike verve of a cartoon. Forman essentially plays an animated version of himself, a 40-ish Israeli filmmaker whose encounter with a fellow ex-soldier opens a floodgate of repressed memories. He interviews more soldiers, trying to fill in the blanks about his service in the Lebanese invasion, and his personal and national complicity in the massacre of thousands of civilians. Waltz With Bashir alternates between surreal, Hellerian visions of war and talking-head interviews, but the rotoscope animation is much more powerful in the former sequences (the expressionless faces recall those Charles Schwab commercials). Forman creates haunting war scenes of crushing fear, uncontrollable carnage and compromised morality that can stand next to Apocalypse Now.