Ari Folman: Waltz with Bashir/CPH:DOX 10

I have been thinking a lot – why does this film not involve me? Why do I stay in a careless mood? I had high expectations, I had read about it, seen the overall praise it has got and I know that audiences have queued to buy cinema tickets. And I see that the state of Israel wants the film to be the country’s Oscar award contribution!

Is it because it is an animation film based on real conversations between the director and his fellow soldier comrades from way back when they went to the Beirut hell that ended up in the massacre on civilians in Sabra and Shatila. A story about memories. That for some of them have turned into traumas.

It is all so well made, perfect craftmanship, it is beautiful to watch, it is packed with emotional music, full of effects, sometimes as an action film… and yet, or maybe therefore, I dont care about their stories. The superbly manufactured animation makes an emotional blockade until the last couple of minutes where the director leaves the animation and invites us to watch horrible archive images of the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers and children in deep shock and screaming grief over a massacre observed and thus accepted by Sharon and his soldiers. I have seen these sequences before. This is the story about Sabra and Shatila.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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