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The conflict between Israel and Palestine has lasted since the end of the 19th century. The burning issue of contention centers on the claims to the area called land of Israel by the Israeli Jews and the Palestine by the Palestinians. Writers and artists have come up with various theories regarding this conflict. According to Charles D. Smith, the Israeli and Palestine conflict has brought with it many versions of the multifaceted case of struggle in the Middle East for way too long. Films and documentary has also covered the standoff between the two nations in different versions
Jenin Jenin film is a documentary that features different testimonies against the occurrence of massacre in the Palestinian camp during the Lebanese war. The waltz with basher film is an account of the events that occurred during the Sabra and Chatila massacres. In both Jenin and waltz with Bashir films; war is involving the Israelites who attacked the Palestinian camps resulting to death, memory loss to the people involved. Both are animated films. In Jenin Jenin film the Israeli soldiers are forced to defend their country after the killing of eighteen Israelis in a span of one month. Operation defensive shield is formed which attacks a refugee camp for Palestinians in Jenin. However due to the denial of the human rights activists and journalists into the camp by the defensive forces rumors spread that there is a massacre. Meanwhile only about 50 people were killed as opposed to the 500 people claimed by the Palestinian official. The Israeli defense forces joined together with reserve soldiers to launch the operation defensive shield.
In the waltz with basher film that is directed by Ari Folman, the film involves the Israel in Lebanese war which resulted to Chatila and Sabra massacres. The massacre involved the Israelites who allowed the attack of the Palestinian refugee camps by the Christian phalangist band of soldiers. Israel as depicted in the film has made semi-conscious and mass decision to forget about the massacres. The events that occurred during the massacre in the film are disinterred by the quasi-fictional procedure. The film employs animation techniques of hyperreal rotoscope.
However the war and the massacre had effects to people who participated in the war and the people which were involved in the war. In Jenin Jenin movie the entire populations in the Palestinian camp are traumatized as their property is destroyed and their loved ones killed by the militia. The film indicates the terror and the prolonged oppression impacts on the refugees mind state which leaves them traumatized.
In the waltz with Bashir film the surfaces and planes throb and stir with brighter, sharper, and harder colors making it to appear as a hallucination which depicts Ari trauma due to the recovered memories. Having been among the soldiers who carried out the attacks; he remembers the events that occurred during the massacres which were horrifying leaving him traumatized. In the film also the Israeli are still traumatized by the massacres horror events which are partly repressed and absorbed in their mind for over quarter century.
Memory loss is also an impact of the war that is depicted in both films. In the waltz with basher film; Ari’s memory is impaired as he cannot remember the events in the Sabra and Shatila massacre in which he participated as a soldier. He is surprised when his friend tells him the experiences in the war that related to his nightmare about 26 dogs chasing after him. Ari however cannot remember anything about the war. Meanwhile he dreams the same night bathing with his soldier friend by the seaside at night under light flares from the city. This makes him to look for his friends who were with him during the period to explain to him what happened and also for his memory to be revived. He later comes to know that he was one of the soldiers who fired flares into the sky to light up the camp as others carried out the massacre.
The memory loss in Ari is due to his guilty for participating in the massacre when he was young. In the Jenin Jenin film memory loss is shown when a young girl of a tender age gets into a UN tent and shouts that she is at home even though there is nothing in the tent. This could have been resulted due to the grief and bitterness that the Palestinians refugees withhold.
Due to destruction that resulted in the war in both films there is a lot of space loss in the camps as properties are destroyed completely. The surviving refugees are moved to other areas with space. The photographic techniques employed also show loss of space as in Jenin Jenin film a tank is shown to fall towards crowd.
Time is lost in different perspectives in both films. In Bakri’s film a lot of time is lost when he tries to get information from the traumatized Palestinians while in Ari’s film time is lost when he goes to look for friends to explain to him the events that occurred in the massacre.
There is no hope to the end to war in Middle East since as shown in Jenin Jenin film the young girl comments that the Palestinians would not give up the fight. Her revenge urge and hatred to the Israelis is a result of the violence that she faces in the massacre. She gives an account of what she would do to Sharon; the prime minister when he visits the camp. Meanwhile the Palestinians would multiply and the revenge would be passed to the next generation in order to get justice. The result of the massacre is due the Israeli revenge to the Palestinians after bombings in Netanya that resulted to death of 30 Israelis.
Waltz with basher and Jenin Jenin films reflect the various impacts of war including trauma, memory loss and time to those involved. The war is a result of revenge toward other people. The conflict can also be placed in political and historical perspective. To understand the conflict better, it is very important to examine the underlying issues and causes, group and individual motives behind the conflicts and the roles played by individual countries and regions as well. A critical analysis of movies, documentaries, contemporary Israeli and Palestinian cinemas, books, and other art works can help in a big way to identify the origin of the crises, the underlying issues, and the possible long term issues. This approach can be embedded in to other ongoing efforts like diplomatic mediation.