Saturday, January 24, 2009


Given my catalog of 'Movies that I have but am yet to watch', it is rather surprising that on a Friday night after spending far too much time at work because I was waiting for a ride home, I came back waited for a friend who was coming over for a drink and sat him down and watched a movie. Maybe because I have this pathological thing against watching movies alone, perhaps because I like to talk too much, but, and coming back to the first point I made, I watched a movie that I only recently got my hands on. It is an Israeli movie, rather a documentary called 'Waltz with Bashir' (Wikipedia - has spoilers). 
What is remarkable about this movie, though it came out several months ago is that I watched it in the aftermath of the Israeli assault on Gaza. It seems remarkable that this movie came out of a country trying to deal with the guilt of what happened in an earlier war. It won accolades even being nominated for the best foreign language film Oscar - and if the makers of Taare Zameen Par thought they stood a chance - they should really watch this movie. The movie deals with the collective guilt of soldiers who fought in the 1982 Lebanon War and then that country goes ahead and does it again. I can carry on for hours about a recently decommisioned Israeli soldier I once met on a bus to McLeodganj while I was in college who told me stories from Ramallah and another young Israeli couple I met in Old Manali back some seven years ago while smoking far, far too much of the good stuff carrying on about war and how lucky we middle-class Indian kids are, but I'll leave those for whenever it is I write a book. I think it might make for better reading than reviewing the Atlantis Hotel.
I am no expert on the Middle East, I do not think that anyone in the world can profess to be - maybe George Mitchell can do something, but with this sort of traumatic history, I don't think peace can ever come soon. Many movies I watch I don't write about - I saw 'Slumdog Millionaire' the other day and was left feeling rather underwhelmed - Danny Boyle made 'Trainspotting' for god's sake and this isn't a patch on that. This is a great Bollywood film made in English, with a magnificent soundtrack. But the media really shouldn't get ahead of itself. On Christmas Day I went to a multiplex in Orange County and watched 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and well, I think 'Slumdog' has serious competition. I believe that Sean Penn will win the Best Actor Oscar for 'Milk' because like Heath Ledger's Joker, that is an Oscar role, but, all said and done, please take some time and try and watch this Israeli movie.

1 comment:

Harmanjit Singh said...

This is a great film.

A knowledge of the history of the Sabra-Shatila camp massacre will add to the rewards of watching this film.