The film is classed as an animation documentary, but is that term paradoxical?
Also the film features a number of dream sequences- should they be included in a documentary?
My take is that it’s a doc on the memory of reality- what d’ya think?
Good question. I haven’t seen Waltz with Bashir, but I do sometimes wonder about films that are entirely reenactments being called documentary. I was a little upset and confused when was told by many sources to watch Touching the Void because it was a great “documentary”. But it turned out to be entirely reenactments. What’s the difference between this an a narrative film that is just “based on true events”?
I just watched this film in my documentary class and had this question to discuss among my peers. It was the first time seeing the film and I believe it is a documentary. It stylizes the reenactments but it is not all that we see in the film. The film has a blend of participatory, observation and expository modes within it.
I really dislike the re-enacted documentary. I sat down tonight to watch a program – a doco on the extraordinary phenomenon of sci fi writers who had predicted what was to come and straight away we have some unconvincing looking guy gazing out the window off dreamily into the distance when he was supposed to be studying his law books and his family scowling disapprovingly … Jules Verne. I thought, oh one of them! and turned it off. I didn’t think of Waltz as a documentary it just seemed a recollected narrative to me.
It can definitely “claim” to be a documentary, but you do pose some good questions about the authenticity of documentaries. Where do we draw the line between fiction and non-fiction? Many documentaries utilize narrative techniques to present information. Examples of filmmakers, who use their artistic freedom in documentaries, include Todd Phillips (Frat House) and Michael Moore (Roger and Me). When does non-diegetic information become falsified or irrelevant to a seemingly objective representation? To some degree, fonts, titles, and even color correction/grading alter the documentation … Guidelines for film festivals obviously can constrict the documentary, but I think you were posing this more of a question of cultural acceptance … I think that one can present a factual-based opinion or even pure facts, while inserting elaborate fantasies or even misleading lies. Filmmakers have the freedom to wind around a jagged path, in order to get to their meaning, or a lack of one. Now what this says about one’s credibility is another matter. I did really enjoy Waltz though!
I feel that the film is a series of events leading up to the ultimate motivation to make a documentary. It is a sad film about putting distorted, incredibly disturbing pieces together. It couldn’t have been a live-action film, because when dealing with memories the filmmaker must have his film be whimsical and fantastical rather than real (I don’t think live action movies do this well). The final shot pretty much says it all, both on the matter of war (anti-war film?) and on the state of documentary filmmaking (protecting the memories of the dead rather than exploiting their deaths and not having any answers to the horror).
Kinda sounds like you missed the entire point of the movie, Ben.
Please tell me how I’ve missed the point. I personally believe it should be classed as a documentary and I want to know what others think. Your comment is entirely unconstructive.