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Waltz With Bashir: A Lebanon War Story
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Waltz With Bashir: A Lebanon War Story

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  838 ratings  ·  106 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 ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published February 17th 2009 by Metropolitan Books (first published 2008)
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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

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
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
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
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
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.

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
Bryce Holt
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
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.
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
Niks Eehee
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
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
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
Fathima Cader
I wonder about the self-pity of soldiers, and how it gets used to absolve themselves of their participation, direct or otherwise, in massacres. Narrating a story about the carnage at the Lebanese refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila exclusively from the perspective of the soldiers who did not stop it reduces the victims, living and dead, to anonymous subjects, rendering these people secondary to a story that, arguably, was more important to them than to the aggressors. And the ethics of telling a ...more
Een graphic novel gemaakt van een animatiedocumentaire.
Ik kan me voorstellen dat de film wat sterker overkomt, alleen al door het effect van de muziek. Toch vond ik deze omzetting behoorlijk indrukwekkend. Een uitleg van hoe het proces van deze omzetting is gegaan, staat achterin het boek vermeld.

Het verhaal wordt verteld vanuit de cineast Ari Folman, hij blijkt te hebben verdrongen wat er is gebeurd tijdens de periode dat hij in 1982 als negentienjarige in dienst was van het Israëlische leger.
I love graphic novels and this one was haunting. A soldier goes through an introspective journey in an attempt to recall some of the horrors he witnessed/experienced during Israel's war in Lebanon. I haven't seen the film but the art work has a mature, intensity to it and the stories recounted were tragic and fascinating. The soldier is astounded by his inability to recall key memories and connects with several people who had the same experience though it is entrenched in their memory. There was ...more
Grace Zhen
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Non sapevo nulla del film, né tantomeno della guerra in Libano. Ho apprezzato le vicende personali del protagonista e la sua amnesia protettiva. Più ancora che i volti, ho apprezzato i disegni degli sfondi. Purtroppo trovo difficile apprezzare una storia-vera, specie una cronaca di guerra, quando non ho almeno un'infarinatura dell'argomento, ma questo è un difetto mio e non del libro.
Jeroen Berndsen
Wals met Bashir is de graphic novel van de gelijknamige animatiefilm die in 2009 genomineerd was voor een oscar. Het verhaal gaat over een Israelische filmregisseur die getuigen probeert te zoeken om zijn eigen aandeel in de invasie van Libanon in 1982 te reconstrueren, waar hij zich niets van kan herinneren. Geen lichte kost, maar wel een bijzonder indrukwekkende beeldroman over trauma, verwerking, geheugen en oorlog. De tekenstijl combineert realisme met meer typische cartoonstijl wat het gehe ...more
The art style is cool, kind of reminds me of rotoscope (think of the film waking life) but in graphic novel format. I haven't seen e film yet and I think it would've been beneficial to see the film first OR have a better understanding of the political climate in Lebanon. It was a little hard for me to identify who's who and to separate which 'side' everyone was on. I think that the film would've carried the viewer along when things were hazy like a comrade in war carries his wounded buddy to saf ...more
I loved the movie. When I saw this book on remainder at my local bookstore, I bought it. I still love the movie, and as an adaptation of the movie, this is pretty darned good. The art is breathtaking, and the pacing quick, disorienting. I do remember finding the movie far more gripping. That said, I find both the movie and the novel difficult in that the narrative is entirely told from the point of view of the Israeli soldiers in the 1982 Lebanon War. Don't get me wrong, this is an important poi ...more
An Israeli war veteran searches through his traumatic memories of the massacres during the 1980s war in Lebanon. He realized that he shut his memories of those events out, and as he tries to find the "truth" of what happened, he reunites with some of his fellow soldiers. During his search, he sees the mysterious way the mind works and learns that some of his "memories" never actually happened, but were actually dreams or alternate realities to disassociate himself from the atrocities of the war. ...more
I'm not 100% sure what to think about this. The story itself was gripping and emotional and the art was lovely, but the storytelling was clunky and hamfisted. I think if there was a bit more flow (and less "characters" introduced--it's too short for so many people to be involved), it would have rated higher.
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
Novela gráfica elaborada a partir del film. Una historia introspectiva acerca de la guerra, la juventud, la madurez y el recuerdo, el olvido y la culpa. De cómo la memoria reconstruye una imagen para denegar/renegar/ forclusionar, lo que el consciente no puede reconocer. De cómo la barbarie supera lo que queda del ser humano y éste se queda anulado ante su crudeza.
Entre medias, podemos hacer muchas críticas, tanto positivas como negativas, ante esa actitud.
Pero no se puede negar el ritmo narrati
Graphic account of the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre, from the point of view of the Israeli soldiers who were to varying degrees complicit in the events. I wished Folman had provided more background on what actually took place—I can understand how that would be tricky to fit into the dreamlike, piecing-together-memories storytelling, but I wasn’t born in 1982 and am sadly more ignorant than I ought to be, apparently. Thank god for Wikipedia.

The art is gorgeous and evocative, however, and the
Cecilia Tavira
Desolador. Es la historia que se repite una y otra vez, cambia el contexto pero no el suceso. Y nosotros observamos, callamos y olvidamos.
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
Dawn Rutherford
Taken from a animated documentary. Fairly well done, though not as powerful as I would have hoped.
Jul 21, 2014 9987 rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: war
Impressive tale set in the Lebanon war. The dark drawings do a great job of conveying the grim mood.
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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
More about Ari Folman...

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