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Final Paper - Yip 1 Stacey Yip COGN 21 Section A01 Ayhan...

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Yip 1 Stacey Yip COGN 21: Section A01 Ayhan Aytes 15 March 2011 Surreal Memories On June 6 th , 1982, the Israel Defense Forces invaded south Lebanon in what became to be known as the 1982 Lebanon War, also known as “Operation Peace for Galilee.” Among the many casualties of the war was the Sabra and Shatila massacre, perhaps the most chilling and violent part of the Lebanon War. During this time, Israel was fighting alongside the Lebanese Christian Phalangists. When word got out that their leader, Bashir Gemayel, was assassinated, the Phalangists went on a killing spree inside the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut and killed women, children, and the elderly. It is estimated that thousands of Palestinians died during that massacre. Israeli troops were located outside the camps during the massacre, but were indirectly linked to the killings. Veteran of the Israel Defense Force, Ari Folman was approached one night in a bar about the war and was surprised to realize that he had blocked out all memories of events that took place during the war, especially that of the massacre. As a result, he decided to put together a documentary with interviews of his fellow comrades to piece together his memory of the war that he had forgotten about. In the documentary, Waltz with Bashir , director Ari Folman compiles interviews with his old comrades, reenacts scenes from the war, and depicts the dreams and images that came from the traumatic experience. In this way, Folman explores themes of reality and surrealism to express the devastating trauma that arises out of war through the use of composition, the musical score, and his choice in making his documentary animated.
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Yip 2 Folman’s recurring dream about the night of the Sabra and Shatila massacre (seven minutes and 50 seconds into the movie) is a scene that can be analyzed shot-by-shot to show how the composition represents the theme of surrealism in his film. The dream starts with an establishing shot of the beach in West Beirut. A body, all black, is in the water facing the buildings with a gun at his side, slowly walking towards the shore. Buildings are located in the midground and background, and flares also light up the background. The color scheme is monochromatic; everything is either a yellowish gold or black. It almost has the effect of a black and white film where tonality is used to show deep contrasts. The almost sepia color of the scene sets the mood for the dream, allowing the audience to understand that what is about to appear on the screen is surreal and not reality. The next shot shows Folman’s head popping out of the ocean. It is a high angle close-up shot directly above his face, so the audience can interpret that he is floating on his back with his head facing the sky. His head is located more towards the left of the frame, with ripples towards the right of the frame. This follows the noseroom rule, which allows the audience to recognize that the ripples are due to his body being submerged underwater, and that the shore is in that direction too.
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  • Winter '08
  • Goldberg
  • Israel Defense Forces, Ari Folman, Waltz with Bashir, 1982 Lebanon War, Sabra and Shatila massacre, Folman

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