Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
I don't particularly want to confront you by PM or any other means. I would like to read your critique of this film, especially considering your views. Don't hold back!
My main interest in seeing this film (which I haven't got hold of yet) is that it's a conscious attempt by an Israeli veteran to overcome the 'collective amnesia' that (Jewish) Israe ...[text shortened]... a Palestinian film -- from the Israeli viewpoint, it simply isn't 'the same conflict'.
From a purely filmmaking perspective, Waltz with Bashir is a very innovative, creative film. Whether you're Palestinian, Israeli, or anything else, you should at least consider seeing it.
The historical accuracy is somewhat less accurate. While the film does correctly portray the Lebanese fascists, in cahoots with Israeli military leaders like Sharon, as being the men and women behind the Sabra/Shatila massacres, it seems to absolve the IDF forces of any responsibility regarding said massacres.
Now, when you take into account Israel, and the Phalange, the Phalange definitely comes off worse. A well-publicized story had an Israeli army officer by the name of Ben-Elizier walking through a Palestinian village in Lebanon that had been overrun by Phalangists. Ben-Elizier saw Palestinians being burned alive, dragged behind cars, etc. He then came across two teenage Phalangist girls and their father, Charmount. Charmount told Ben-Elizier that the girls were very helpful in the overtaking of the village, and Ben-Elizier asked skeptically what they were able to accomplish. One girl took out a ziplock bag of severed fingers, and Charmount explained she took a finger as a trophy from each Palestinian she's killed. Ben-Elizier was disgusted. The other girl then took out a bag of earlobes, at which point a terrified and revokted Ben-Elizier fled. So when you compare the Phalangists to the Israelis, you know which one is more evil.
However, the Israeli army knowingly assisted the Phalangists in the Sabra-Shatila massacres. They knew exactly what was going on; they had their orders from Ariel Sharon, who ordered the massacre. They surrounded the camp while the Phalange marched in, refused to let any Palestinians leave the camps, lit flares over the village by night so the Phalange could see whether it was a man or woman they were raping, radioed for reinforcements when necessary, etc. I don't think this film makes it clear that Israel was nearly as villainous here (everyone in the army who knew what was going on but refused to act ... which would have been about all of them) as the Phalangists, who actually did the killing. Furthermore, the film paints PLO guerrillas in Southern Lebanon as other villains, when in fact said guerrillas were generally far more peaceful and willing to compromise than either Israel or the Phalange.
I believe the film is being released in theaters in most of the US on February 10 or so. It's rated R and it's a bit less than 2 hours.