About Ari Folman

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This lecture will be a public interview with Ari Folman, hosted by Professor Joshua Seth Malitsky.

Ari Folman's visit is being sponsored by the Robert A. and Sandra S. Borns Jewish Studies Program.

More information on the screening of Waltz with Bashir can be found here.

Ari Folman
In the mid 1980s, after completing his military service, Ari Folman ventured out on his dream trip to circle the world with a backpack. Just two weeks and two countries into the trip, Ari realized traveling was not for him, so he settled into small guesthouses in Southeast Asia and wrote letters to his friends at home, letters in which he totally fabricated the perfect trip. One whole year of being in one place and writing down the fruits of his fantastical imagination convinced him to return home and study cinema.

His graduate film, “Comfortably Numb” (1991) documented Ari’s close friends taking cover on the verge of anxiety attacks during the first Gulf war while Iraqi missiles landed all over Tel Aviv. The result was comical and absurd and the film won the Israeli Academy award for Best Documentary.

Between 1991-1996 Ari directed documentary specials for TV, mainly in the occupied territories. In 1996 he wrote and directed “Saint Clara”, a feature film based on a novel by Czech author Pavel Kohout. The film won seven Israeli Academy awards, including Best Director and Best Film. "Saint Clara" opened the Berlin Film Festival's Panorama and won the People’s Choice Award. The film was screened throughout America and Europe to critical acclaim. Ari continued directing successful documentary series and took time off for his second feature in 2001. “Made in Israel” is a futuristic fantasy that centers upon the pursuit of the world’s only remaining Nazi.

Ari has written for several successful Israeli TV series, including the award-winning "In Therapy" ("Be Tipul"), which was the basis for the new HBO series "In Treatment."

Ari made his initial attempt at animation in his series “The Material that Love is Made Of" – each episode opens with five minutes of documentary animation which depicts scientists presenting their theories on the evolution of love. This successful attempt at documentary animation propelled Ari to develop the unique format of “Waltz with Bashir”. Based on a true story, the film is a quest into the director’s memory for the missing pieces from the days of the Lebanon War in the mid 80s. As far as Ari was concerned, it was only natural to transform the quest into animation, full of imagination and fantasy.

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