Animated Drama Claims Top Prizes at ‘Israeli Oscars’

By Nathan Burstein

Published October 02, 2008, issue of October 10, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

And the award for the best Israeli film of the year went to… “Waltz With Bashir,” an animated feature that swept the major honors at Israel’s version of the Oscars, broadcast September 23 in Tel Aviv.

DRAMA: ‘Waltz With Bashir’ will be Israel’s submission for the foreign language category at the 2009 Oscar’s.
DRAMA: ‘Waltz With Bashir’ will be Israel’s submission for the foreign language category at the 2009 Oscar’s.

The film, a vividly drawn drama about Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, took the Ophir — the top prize of the Israeli Film Academy — in six categories, including best picture, director and screenplay. “Bashir” writer/director Ari Folman, who also provided voice work and served as one of the film’s producers, based the project on his own memories of wartime Lebanon and on interviews conducted with other veterans about their experiences in and near Beirut in the early months of the fighting.

Its Ophir victory automatically makes “Bashir” Israel’s submission for the foreign language film category in the Oscars, and could make 2009 the second year in a row in which Israel gets nominated. “Beaufort,” another drama about soldiers serving in Lebanon, earned an Academy Award nomination last winter, Israel’s first in 24 years.

Like that film, “Bashir” has already been embraced on the international film festival circuit, earning a nomination for the Palme d’Or, the Cannes film festival’s highest prize, in May. The film screened on October 1 and 2 at the New York Film Festival, and it will open for general audiences in New York City on December 26.

Other big winners at the Ophir ceremony included “Lost Islands,” a bittersweet family drama that collected four prizes, and “Children of the Sun,” a look at child-rearing practices on kibbutzim that was named best documentary.

Best actress honors went to Hiam Abbass, an Arab performer from Nazareth, for her work in the political drama “Lemon Tree.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.