You are herecontent / Tomgram: Airport to Nowhere, Waltz with Bashir, Part 2
Tomgram: Airport to Nowhere, Waltz with Bashir, Part 2
A pack of ravenous dogs, a nightmare, a visit from a war-haunted friend, this was how film director Ari Folman's period as an Israeli "grunt" in the 1982 invasion of Lebanon first returned to him. But when he began to search for his own memories of that war, what he found instead was a puzzling, disturbing blank.
Tentatively setting off in pursuit of those missing memories, horrors buried for almost a quarter of a century, he launched himself on a path that would lead to his award-winning, Oscar-nominated animated film, Waltz with Bashir, and to a stunning accompanying graphic memoir that will soon be in bookstores.
Its publisher, Metropolitan Books, has given TomDispatch the exclusive right to post two long excerpts just before official publication. The first of these appeared last Saturday (and can be viewed here).
Now, in part 2 of Waltz with Bashir, we pick up Folman's story just after he has managed to reconstruct his first days at war. In the stunning, unnerving 24 pages that follow, he begins to restore to memory his arrival in Beirut and the events that will ultimately lead him to the dark, shattering center of what he has forgotten: the horror of the massacre of Palestinians in Beirut's Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
Like the film, this is a book that simply must be experienced. Unfortunately, given recent events, it also couldn't be more of the moment. When asked by a Washington Post reporter, how it feels to have his film released in the U.S. "just as Israel is at war again, this time in Gaza," Folman responded: "There is a constant conflict, you know, so it's always happening again. This film is always being updated. It is always relevant to current events."
He's right. It couldn't be more relevant or more thoughtful and penetrating on war trauma and memory.