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Recommended today at the Denver Film Festival: Waltz With Bashir

An image from Waltz With Bashir.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a choice: either catch up on several hundred non-spam e-mails then clogging my inbox or attend a Denver Film Festival press screening of Waltz With Bashir, an autobiographical animated film by Israeli director Ari Folman about a horrific incident during the 1982 war between Israel. Unsurprisingly, I eventually chose the latter despite its grim theme -- and I was very glad I did. The movie's ostensible topic is post traumatic stress disorder, but in truth, it's practically a detective tale, with Folman investigating his own memory to discover what his own brain has been protecting him from. The animation is primitive by Pixar standards, but the story is actually enhanced by the comparatively rudimentary technology at his disposal, with Folman able to burn images into the viewer's mind in the same way that he's able to resurrect them in his own. Moreover, Bashir concludes with a filmmaking choice every bit as bold in its way as director Steven Spielberg impressionistic use of color in the otherwise black-and-white film Schindler's List.

Waltz With Bashir screens at 1 p.m. today at the King Center, on the Auraria Campus. Click here for details -- and get a sense of the film's style and power by watching a preview below. -- Michael Roberts

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts