War is hell. Movies have told us this truth much, vividly and brutally. So to note that "Waltz With Bashir" pertains the impact of the First Lebanon War on young men with the Israeli Defense Forces might lead you to think if the film has anything new to say. But "Waltz With Bashir," with its groundbreaking mixture of documentary aesthetics, and animation, is a very innovative war drama, that has the hallucinatory power of "Apocalypse Now."
Ari Folman was a 19-year-old Israeli soldier in the Lebanon war, in 1982. But he had oppressed almost all memories of that time until 20 years later, when a friend, named Boaz recited a recurring nightmare of a pack of snarling, vicious dogs marauding the streets of Tel Aviv. This unnerving dream is the first thing we see in this remarkable movie : A pack of frothing, gun-metal-colored dogs tears through the streets. The sky is yellow, the town beneath it is steely gray. A woman clutches her baby. A man is overturned, then menaced by, one of the snarling hounds with yellow eyes. The hounds make their way to an apartment building, howling, calling out, demanding the attention of a man who comes to the window.