The social issue: War and conflict
Media works: Philippe Mora’s 1974 documentary ‘Swastika’ and Ari Folman’s 2008 documentary ‘ Waltz with Bashir’.
These documentaries promote anti-war values through the horrors and destruction captured by devices of media. ‘Swastika’ explores the propaganda used by Adolf Hitler during his reign, and ‘Waltz with Bashir’ examines Folman’s past life as a veteran of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon.
Documentary conventions: Archival footage, juxtapositioning, re-enactments, montages, interviews and background music
Body Paragraph 1 Summary : Mora’s documentary, the use of Hitler’s home videos and the impact it made. Represented Hitler as the ideal father/family man in spite of the destruction and significant loss he caused. As a ramification of this, Mora proposes the ideology that Hitler was still a human being and cannot be misconceived as being evil or a devil, because he was in actuality doing what he believed would benefit all of Germany in its state following World War I. In relation to notions of war and conflict, this enlightenment of Hitler’s personal life allows audiences to foresee that all human beings will have their disagreements and disputes; thus making war an issue that has and always will be present for mankind.
Body Paragraph 2 Summary : Folman’s documentary, the use of animations and impractical graphics to summarise the soldiers’ experiences in the Lebanon war as well as his own. This paragraph will be focusing on their irrational actions on the battlefield such as the delusional soldier sitting on the couch repeating like a mad man, “fast forward”. Also another key example is the scene where one of the soldiers stole a fellow comrade’s MAG and waltzed with it in open fire. And a third example is when the group of soldiers first arrived to Lebanon and opened fire on an innocent family of locals in a family car.
Body Paragraph 3 Summary : Mora’s documentary, the use of Hitler’s propaganda and the persuasive influence it had on Germany’s people. Represents Hitler as a celebrity, an idol and the most powerful figurehead of all of Germany. This demonstrates the manipulative nature of Hitler as he lured his own people to following his personal ideals and beliefs. This is reflected upon through German soldiers going by his commands and murdering innocent Jewish men, women and children.
Body Paragraph 4 Summary : Folman’s documentary, the use of archival footage in the final moments and the contrasts it had with the animations of real-life interviews. The dramatic impact it had as these animations were suddenly brought to physical existence in the final 10 minutes of the documentary. Identify and discuss Folman’s closing comment concerning war, a comment which can be attained by the audience through watching these closing minutes of the documentary.