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Waltz With Bashir: A Lebanon War Story

3.89  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,286 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
"Special, strange, and peculiarly potent... Extraordinary." —Variety
One night in Beirut in September 1982, while Israeli soldiers secured the area, Christian militia members entered the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila and began to massacre hundreds, if not thousands, of Palestinians. Ari Folman was one of those Israeli soldiers, but for more than twenty years he rememb
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Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 17th 2009 by Metropolitan Books (first published 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,415)
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Forrest
Aug 09, 2014 Forrest rated it liked it
As the current ('14) conflict rages on in Gaza, I am reminded that, in this war, there are only victims. This is also true of the Lebanon conflict of the early '80s, which is the subject of this graphic novel. Yes, there are aggressors, mostly politicians who already enjoy power, goading on the common men and women who actually fight the wars. But on the ground level, where the fighting itself is taking place, there are only victims, regardless of who "wins" the conflict. That's not to take away ...more
Ana Ovejero
Feb 09, 2016 Ana Ovejero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the graphic novel based on the film with the same name, dealing with memory and its ways to deal with traumatic events.

This story starts with a middle-aged man retelling a friend about a dream. In this dream, a group of dogs run through the streets looking for him, knowing they want to kill him. He connects the dogs with his own duty during his twenties as he was a member of the Israeli army.

This situation triggers the question in the protagonist's mind: why does he have all his memories
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matt

Really potent and deeply felt illustrated examination of amnesia, collective and personal, about an event which is hidden in the unconscious for what are pretty understandable, all-too-human type reasons. I have a lot of respect for anyone who is going to do some truth telling as an excersize in evidence against interest- if it feels good for you to talk about it, it probably isn't something which is as important as that which brings shame.

I think Folman has accomplished something profound and
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Hayel Barakat
الكتاب يتحدث عن جندي اسرائيلي يراوده كابوس دائم. الكابوس عبارة عن الحياة التي عاشها هذا الجندي الاسرائيلي خلال الحرب على لبنان خصوصا مجزرة صبرا وشتيلا
الكتاب مفعم بالبؤس والكئابة والحزن من ذلك القتل والدمار اللذبن حصلا في تلك البقعة من الارض.

الكتاب يعرض عن مأساة صبرا وشتيلا: كيف حدثت ومن المسؤول المباشر عنها وعن جيش لحد والقوات اللبنانية التي ساهمت في القضاء على المدنيين العزل الموجودون في المخيم . طبعا الكاتب لا ينكر مساهمة الجيش الاسرائيلي في اغلاق مداخل المخيم والقاء القنابل المضيئة ليتسنى لقو
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Erika
This graphic novel was based on a film that I have not seen, but the book was enough for me. It's a hard thing to read and the art is moving and haunting - it makes an impression with the power of few others. Especially at the very end when the art switched to actual photographs with no warning - I was horrendously drawn to the power of it.
orsodimondo
Nov 10, 2013 orsodimondo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: disegno, israele
PERCHÉ
Che dire? Il film è così bello che ho avuto bisogno anche della graphic novel: e non sono rimasto deluso.
La devastante magia di questa storia si è prolungata per le pagine di questo libro.
Shaun Duke
Jul 10, 2009 Shaun Duke rated it it was amazing
Reading Waltz With Bashir has been an interesting experience. Initially I was under the impression that it was a graphic novel based on a live-action movie, but as I came to learn more of the graphic novel's history I realized that this is a direct film-to-book translation of an animated piece. Each panel is captured from the film and given English dialogue. Despite my general dislike for book adaptations of movies, Waltz With Bashir actually works, because as a graphic novel it is as visually s ...more
Antje
Zugegeben, ich bin enttäuscht von dem Buch, weil es meinen Erwartungen kaum gerecht wurde. Die Handlung ist das reinste Puzzle, strukturarm und fragmentiert. Ich sah mich stets mit den Erinnerungsfetzen einzelner Personen konfrontiert, die ich immer schwerer untereinander vernetzen konnte und ich bis zum Schluss das Gefühl in mir trug, die Geschichte ist unvollständig. Der historische Hintergrund zur Ermorderung des libanesischen Parteiführers Bashir Gemayel 1982 und dem folgenden Massaker in de ...more
Edward Rathke
Aug 03, 2015 Edward Rathke rated it liked it
This is from the description of the book:

--The result is a gripping reconstruction, a probing inquiry into the unreliable quality of memory, and, above all, a powerful denunciation of the senselessness of all wars. Profoundly original in form and approach, Waltz with Bashir will take its place as one of the great works of wartime testimony.--

But I actually don't think it works as a denunciation. In fact, the book comes off oddly ambivalent, I think. Even ambivalent to the narrator's role in the
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Sam Kappler
Jan 09, 2015 Sam Kappler rated it it was amazing
Ari Folman’s non-fiction memoir Waltz with Bashir is an intriguing piece of literary work. Published soon after the film version, Waltz with Bashir includes a variety of impressive artistic transitions and elements. Although the story is considered a memoir and non-fiction, it has many strange and unnatural encounters in it.

Waltz with Bashir tells the story of 19 year old Ari Folman and his experiences as an Israeli soldier during the Lebanon War in 1982. However, decades later Ari for some re
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Karen Mardahl
Jun 23, 2015 Karen Mardahl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very powerful and well-done illustrations to tell a horrible tale. I remember the time when this happened, so just opening the book gave me the chills. I knew some of what was in store. I thought this was a comic first. I hadn't realised the film came first. As a book, I think it shows how comics can tell powerful, necessary stories that might be too painful - or even ignored or overlooked - if they were just words. This story is from one angle of the Sabra and Shatila massacres. I think this st ...more
Dale
Mar 18, 2009 Dale rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was slight disappointed that this was a book made from a movie. Somehow that made certain parts of the plot feel contrived, like they probably flowed better in that genre than as a graphic novel. The illustrations were phenomenal and engaging. I take my time with graphic novels in general, but this one really had me staring at pictures to really absorb all the detail before moving on. The story was also quite interesting. Having never been to war myself I find it fascinating to see how individ ...more
Charlotte
This is a powerful use of the comic medium. It shows the bazaar mix of reality and unreality that war can bring. At the end there is a great switch from comic to real footage of the massacre discussed in the entire book.

The strength of this book is that is shows the complexity of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict. This is just one of many atrocities that has taken place throughout the conflict. It kindof brought into focus for me why long term peace is so illusive in this region.

There is also a
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Mirrordance
letto dopo aver visto il film. L dimensione narrativa del libro e' piu' vicina al mio sentire. Una graphic novel dura e cruda che narra eventi tragici e fin troppo vicini.
Kobeest
Apr 19, 2010 Kobeest rated it it was amazing
i will admit to seeing the movie of this first...but as far as i can tell the book was put together from movie material. in any case, both works are extremely potent. Ari Folman uses the comic format to deliver a digestible, intensely emotional account of his connection to the sabra and shatila massacre in 1982. the story of over a thousand Palestinian and Lebanese Muslims slaughtered by Christian Phalangists comes in steps as Folman gives us his own and fellow Isreali soldiers' recaptured memor ...more
Davide
May 05, 2013 Davide rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
Devastante.

A scatola chiusa. E' così che bisognerebbe affrontare l'arte. Impreparati, disarmati, inermi. Lo ammetto, questa graphic novel (tratta dal film omonimo presentato a Cannes nel 2008) mi era sconosciuta, così come i fatti da essa raccontati. Il Libano, i massacri di Sabra e Chatila, Beirut, la guerra, l'idiozia umana, l'odio fomentato dalle religioni, l'isteria. Valzer con Bashir è un'opera straziante, che con potenza inaudita mette a nudo la precarietà della memoria. L'ignoranza stavo
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Fran
Jan 03, 2015 Fran rated it really liked it
I came to this graphic novel after watching Ari Folman's film, which is one of my all-time favourite films. However, I will try and review this as objectively as I can.

The art comprises of shots taken from the film. The illustrations and style are just breath-taking and are impossible to just skim over. Apparently, David Polonsky - the chief illustrator - drew with his left hand, which was not his dominant, in order to give the illustrations a more sketchy feel. Genuinely stunning drawings.

What
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Bryce Holt
Aug 22, 2014 Bryce Holt rated it it was amazing
Different angles of the senselessness and depravity of war, all tied up in a single, 128 page graphic novel? It's all there and it's what makes "Waltz With Bashir" nearly perfect.

The imagery to me is some of the best to pour out of a graphic novel/movie in a very long time, and the way that it covers trauma, memory, guilt and the victimization of the weak in wartime is palpable. Even more powerful is that it is told from the perspectives of survivors recounting their worst moments. I found it p
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Les Fils de Ju
May 19, 2016 Les Fils de Ju rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ari Folman fait une introspection en allant à la rencontre de ses camarades de combat, à la recherche de sa mémoire, à travers leurs témoignages.

« Frenkel, camarade de combat, raconte un moment passé : « Nous rampions au ras du sol. J’ai entendu quelqu’un crier « Frenkel ! ». J’ai aperçu un gamin avec un lance-roquette. Il était tous jeune »
Ari Folman : « Frenkel, dis-moi, j’y étais moi aussi ? »
Frenkel : « Partout où j’allais, tu y allais avec moi. »
Ari folman : « Bon à savoir. Bien sûr que j’y
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Josephus FromPlacitas
Still need to see the film -- I wonder if this is a straight lift of cels from the film, or semi-independently drawn panels. An interesting angle on the Sabra and Shatila massacre -- a descendant of Holocaust survivors is mentally snapped by his proximate participation in an act of fascist terror and mass murder not unlike what his family fled. I wonder what this version omits, how the Israeli soldier's perspective, along with the perspectives of his fellow IDFers, distorts the tale. A good narr ...more
Bar Tube
Feb 10, 2016 Bar Tube rated it did not like it
Shelves: garphic-novels
Waltz with Bashir, by Ari Folman, it is about amnesia and dealing with things you can't handle.
The comic itself, as a form of storytelling, was very good.
The story itself was one dimensional, it didn't talk about before of after, and it was too short to even convey a story, I did not like it,
I give it 2 stars, the only reason to try it, is if you've liked the movie.
Peacegal
Jun 17, 2011 Peacegal rated it really liked it
This graphic novel follows, shot, by shot, the movie upon which it was based. No doubt Waltz will find its way onto the shelves of more than a few peace activists; it really hits home with the damage and innocent death caused by war. Waltz is a thoughtful answer to all of the action comics that glamorize fighting and warfare.
P.
Mar 24, 2009 P. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
Mostly this just really made me want to see the movie.

One of the things I was lamenting to myself about myself as I was reading, though, was "oh Tessa, you should know more history." But by the end of the book, I felt like my ignorance worked for me and for the plot--war is pretty senseless, after all, if you're inside of it.
Katie
Jan 24, 2011 Katie rated it really liked it
horrifying, moving, breathtaking illustrations. i think it's a combination of digital and hand-drawn, and it's astounding. pay attention to the animals; some of the most powerful commentary about the futility of war is in the treatment of animals.
Catfat
Apr 02, 2015 Catfat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Choquant passionnant sans compromis.
Il est intéressant de lire, en France et maintenant, où l'islamophobie le dispute a l'antisémitisme, que des milices chrétiennes ont massacré des Palestiniens en représailles d'un assassinat politique. Ça remet certaines choses en place.
En dehors de ça j'ai adoré cette bd qui traite d'un sujet atroce (la Guerre) a travers la quête de mémoire d'un ancien soldat. Entre hallucinations psychologie et vie de tous les jours, percent les terribles pointes des événeme
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Yiling
Aug 29, 2014 Yiling rated it it was amazing
No words to describe the potency of this slim volume
Clare
Jun 25, 2009 Clare added it
Update: read Ha'aretz review by Gideon Levy, who has a point - criticizes Waltz with Bashir as being propaganda for the Europeans, Americans...Israelis atoning for a war in the past, not for recent ones, Folman becomes another artistic export/national treasure, etc. etc. Still, Waltz with Bashir is worth reading/seeing.

Read the graphic novel; loved the graphic novel; have yet to see the film; would love to see the film. I have not read many graphic novels - I've only read the popular ones, thos
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Niks Eehee
Dec 11, 2011 Niks Eehee rated it it was amazing
I loved the narrative, the way it flowed from the viewpoint of one character to another by means of flashbacks. It's like zooming into a scene through the eyes of one viewer then again zooming out of the eye of another as the story in real time went on. Got very heavy in the end, how he had buried the massacre deep within himself because he felt guilty about having participated in something he had not been aware of at all. Pretty much throughout the book there were hints of how when they had bee ...more
Chad Bearden
May 04, 2010 Chad Bearden rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The art is beautiful, and the depiction of war as pointless violence is effectively delivered, but the translation of the material from film to graphic novel robs the story of some vital spark.

Prior to this reading, the specific history of Lebanon had been mostly unknown to me. The names Lebanon and Beirut were media buzzwords in my youth during the country's civil war that raged through the 80s. I'd alway just associated the country with war and ruin. "Waltz with Bashir" certainly gives all tho
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Johnny
Nov 08, 2012 Johnny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-2013
Wow, an amazing fantastic, breath-taking graphic novel. It is story of the revelation of wars going on in the Middle East specifically in Lebanon. It is a tale of a former Israeli soldier who cannot remember anything about the Lebanon war of 1982. He goes on a quest to remember events of the war by asking his friends who were deployed with him to war. Upon his recollection he remembers the horror of the war. Innocent people of Lebanon murdered and forced out of their homes. I would 100% recommen ...more
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Ari Folman is an Israeli film director, screenwriter and film score composer.

He witnessed the aftermath of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre as a 19 year old Israeli soldier. This would serve as the basis of Waltz with Bashir. The film follows his attempt to regain his memories of the war through therapy as well as conversations with old friends and other Israelis that were present in Beirut aro
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