The incongruity of an animated war movie never wears off during the 90 minutes of this Israeli film. It's no less surprising to see cartoon corpses toward the end of the movie as it is to see the hard-bitten veterans, smoking and trading war stories, at the beginning.
The movie deals in an unexpected way with memory and the tricks it plays on us -- especially after a traumatic experience, such as war. And, especially to those who have been the aggressors in war.
It's easy enough for the viewer to distance himself from the atrocities of war when they're rendered in cartoon form. But, that may be precisely the film maker's point. People will do whatever is necessary to distance themselves from a painful memory. In the case of some of the Israeli soldiers depicted in the film, that includes erasing their own memory of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Yet, the nightmares of one character doom him to relive the hell of war night after night. When he confides in another veteran, it prompts him to seek out the truth from others involved in the massacre of innocent civilians.
Filled with indelible comic book imagery of man's inhumanity to man, Waltz with Bashir suggests that war lives on in those who have fought ... long after the battle is over. See it.