Archives for posts with tag: memory

Music In Israeli Film: Waltz With Bashir (2008)  

Presentation by Claudia Camacho

Directed by Ari Folman

  • Born in Haifa, Israel 1962
  • Studied at Tel Aviv University in the Department of Film and Television
  • His parents were from the Lodz ghetto in Poland and Auschwitz Holocaust survivors
  • Served in the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War, basis of the movie

Music By Max Richter

  • German-British composer born in 1966
  • “Blends classical, electronic, and rock influences”
  • All these genres found in Waltz With Bashir
  • Ari Folman was listening to Max Richter on repeat when writing the script for Waltz

Waltz With Bashir

  • Summary: Waltz with Bashir is an animated documentary film about the director’s experience in the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War. Ari attempts to regain his war memories after a friend tells him about a recurring dream he’s been having.

History behind Waltz With Bashir

  • In 1982 Israel invaded South Lebanon after Israel’s Northern border had been bombed for years from the Lebanese territory
  • Initial plan: To occupy a 40km zone between Lebanon and Israel to cleanse the missile range used by Palestinians
  • Secret Plan: Arik Sharon (Israeli Minister of Defense) wanted to occupy Lebanon as far as Beirut and appoint his Christian Phalangist ally Bashir Gemayel, President of Lebanon to create eliminate threat from the North
  • A week after being elected, Bashir was assassinated. The assassination thought to have caused the massacre by the Phalangists at Shabra and Shatila of Palestinian civilians.
  • It took 3 days for the IDF soldiers to figure out the massacres were happening and do something. By then it was too late, an estimated 3,000 people were massacred.

“I Bombed Beirut” by Zeev Tene

  • “If we go on behaving with our neighbors like we behave with them, there will be in them some hatred built that will be impossible to control.”
  • “I hate Germans.”
  • His song is politically charged and begs the question how could our government of all governments have been involved in a massacre like this.
  • The song puts the Israeli forces in the place of the Nazi’s.

JSB/RPG

  • Concerto No. 5 in F Minor for Harpsichord and Strings by Johann Sebastian Bach
  • “The film is about the nature of reality and memory…about recovering facts and trying to work out what is imagined and what’s real” –Max Richter on Waltz with Bashir
  • Playing during absurd events of war in which it is not entirely sure whether they are imagined or real.

The Haunted Ocean

  • Composed by Max Richter, provides the theme for the movie
  • “Is meant to evoke a sort of unresolved, weightless, lost melancholia” along with feelings of guilt and shame for being involved (by proxy) in this act of genocide
  • Plays whenever Folman is trying to remember the day of the massacre
  • The scenes where the Haunted Ocean plays are really important because there is no dialogue. The music’s job is to express what words cannot.

I chose the movie because it touched on the theme of memory and past and what is usable and what is not. For Ari Folman and many soldiers at Beirut, the memory of the massacre was not a usable memory. The old collective memory of the Holocaust and the new personal memory of the massacre could not exist in the same mind.

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