The Psychiatry of ‘Waltz With Bashir’

Prof. Moshe Kotler

In wartime, you see all sides. You see all casualties. You see the cost of the war and the ongoing conflict.

We live here in Israel. I’m almost 60 years old, and most of my life I was involved in conflict — as a child, then as a teenager and then as a soldier and then as a career officer. It’s not always easy to share the feelings and the suffering of your enemy and those who are in conflict with you.

This was a brave movie in the sense that it talks about the real resolve we have to face in war and conflict — not an easy movie for every Israeli, but it’s an important movie because you don’t usually see what the other side suffers.

The technique is unique, very original. Animation usually deals with lighter subjects, mostly humor. If you see conflict and suffering and blood, you see it in the usual technique of movies. Many of my colleagues and students feel that it wasn’t an easy movie to watch.

I didn’t dream that someone would do an animation movie regarding those areas of conflict, but the message came across very, very clearly. I believe it’s an important film.

Prof. Moshe Kotler is vice dean of the Medical School, Tel Aviv U. A retired colonel from the Israeli army, Kotler works as a psychiatrist specializing in post-traumatic stress disorder.

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