Report from Arizona (no, not the Super Bowl)
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Report from Arizona (no, not the Super Bowl)

We saw two Israeli films during our week away – “Waltz with Bashir” and “Out of Sight.”

“Bashir” is exceptional – and harrowing. (See http://www.jstandard.com/index.php/content/item/the_story_behind_waltz_with_bashir for an interview with director Ari Folman.)

The film, an animated fictionalized documentary about present-day soldiers recalling their experiences in the first Lebanon War and the Sabra and Shatilla massacres, has already won a Golden Globe for best foreign language film and is in line for an Academy Award.

It begins with a horrific scene of dogs slavering and howling and running in a pack to a dreamer’s window. And it ends – oh, I won’t tell you how it ends, but it is as horrific as a pack of dogs any day.

And yet wonderfully made.

My fear is that, because it is being seen and contending for major film prizes just as Israel is being reviled for Operation Cast Lead against Hamas in Gaza, the Israelis may be confused with the killers, the Christian Phalangists. But as Folman says, the Israelis “didn’t pull the trigger.” And yet, as his film makes clear, they did “stand idly by.” He notes, “People realized something was terribly wrong because that massacre took place with the support and collaboration of the Israeli government.”

It is astonishing that one of the finest anti-war movies in recent times is in the medium that Disney pioneered.

I’ll blog on “Out of Sight” very soon – and also about a remarkable Holocaust book that is so very good that I can hardly bear to read it. I have to stop and catch my breath.

Doroboro greeted her tired travelers with hot (vegetarian) borscht served in Hubbard squash shells and topped with sour cream. As soon as she sends me her recipe I will post it here.

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