Animated recollection and spectatorial experience in Waltz with Bashir

Ohad Landesman, Roy Bendor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article explores the ways in which Waltz with Bashir (2008), Ari Folman's animated war memoir, combines a commentary on memory with a moral stance on war. The authors argue that the film exemplifies the capacity of animated documentaries not only to show what is otherwise difficult or impossible to represent in non-animated documentaries, but to serve as a vehicle for fostering new relationships between the viewer and the documentary text. In this vein, the authors argue that Waltz with Bashir synthetically produces a rich, consistent, and thus trustworthy sense of reality for its viewers not despite but because of its unique aesthetic choices-its innovative animation techniques and mixing of reality with fantasy. Accordingly, the authors weave together analyses of the film's content and form with accounts of their reception, discuss how the film evokes certain somatic responses with individuals, and consider the political significance these responses may engender.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-370
Number of pages18
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Israeli cinema
  • Lebanon
  • Walter Benjamin
  • animation
  • documentary
  • experience
  • memory
  • phenomenology
  • trauma
  • war


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