Entertainment

Watch Waltz with Bashir at college

North Island College's Institute of War and Peace will present a screening of Waltz with Bashir on Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Stan Hagen Theatre on NIC's Comox Valley campus.

All are welcome and there is no charge to attend.

One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari Folman about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts.

The two men conclude that there is a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early '80s.

Ari is surprised that he cannot remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world.

He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.

Waltz with Bashir is the result — a stirring, award-winning documentary about the 1982 Lebanon War, the siege of Beirut, the relationship between the Israeli army and Bashir Gemayel, senior commander of the Lebanese Christian militia (the Phalangists) and soon-to-be President of Lebanon, and the Phalangist massacre of Palestinian refugee camp occupants after the assassination of Bashir, while Israeli forces surrounded the area.

Men, women, the elderly and children, were all killed with horrific cruelty. To this day the exact number of victims is unknown but they are estimated at 3,000.

News of the massacre shocked the entire world and a spontaneous protest by hundreds of thousands Israeli citizens forced the Israeli government to create an official inquiry committee to investigate the liability of Israeli political and military authorities.

Now deceased, former prime minister Ariel Sharon was the Israeli minister of defence at the time. His forced resignation followed after the committee concluded that he had not done enough to stop the horror once he became aware, though this did not stop Sharon from becoming prime minister two decades later.

A.O. Scott of the New York Times describes the film as "a memoir, a history lesson, a combat picture, a piece of investigative journalism and an altogether amazing film." Andrew Sarris of the New York Observer writes "one of the most profoundly explosive animated documentaries I have ever seen, and ... clearly one of the best pictures of the year."

Waltz with Bashir won the 2009 Golden Globes Award for Best Foreign Film, and was nominated for Best Foreign Film for the 2009 Academy Awards.

North Island College's Institute of War and Peace begins in May 2014 and will consist of three thematically linked second-year university transfer courses, focusing on the themes of war and peace.

The three courses (English 230, History 220 and Philosophy 230) will be taught with an interdisciplinary approach.

Each course will meet individually twice per week and students and instructors from all three courses will also attend a weekly plenary session where fictional and documentary films will be shown, and guest speakers will present on issues related to war.

In addition, extra-curricular activities are planned including a special guest speaker and dance performance.

For further information about North Island College programs, services and events, visit www.nic.bc.ca or call 1-800-715-0914.

— North Island College

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