Friday, February 27, 2009

Something perverse

"As with "Beaufort," then, "Bashir" leaves you with the impression that Israeli soldiers are nice kids, scared shitless - contrary to the brutality evinced on television news footage. If the facts of the human condition that the film depicts do evoke pity and fear from the audience, it's not because your estimation of these boys has diminished. In Folman's narrative, occupation does not make good people do bad things; rather it makes good people watch bad people (aka "the Lebanese") do bad things. There is something laughably predictable in the orientalism embedded in Cnaan's analysis of the Phalange: "There was something erotic about the Phalangists' relationship with Bashir," he observes sagely. "Avenging his death was, for them, like taking revenge for the killing of a wife." Worse, "Waltz with Bashir" asks the audience to feel as much sympathy for those that made the Sabra-Shatila massacre possible as you do for the victims themselves. There is something perverse in this." (thanks Nour)