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Israeli Veteran's Lebanon War Story Gets Oscar Nod


An Israeli film that grapples with the role of Israeli veterans of the 1982 invasion of Lebanon has been nominated for one of America's top film honors, the Academy Award.

Waltz with Bashir, an animated documentary by Israeli director Ari Folman, is based on interviews the filmmaker conducted with veterans to try to make sense of his own experience as a soldier in the war.

The director used animation to depict the veterans' dreams and distorted memories. The memories have haunted them since a Lebanese Christian militia massacred hundreds, possibly thousands, of Palestinian refugees in Beirut camps in 1982, while Israeli forces were stationed outside.

The Israeli army had invaded southern Lebanon to stop Palestinian guerillas there from bombing northern Israeli towns.

Waltz With Bashir has won critical acclaim for exploring the responsibility of ordinary soldiers in war.

The Christian militia killed Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps to avenge the assassination of Lebanon's newly elected, pro-Israeli president, Bashir Gemayel.

An official Israeli inquiry found former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon indirectly responsible for the massacre. Mr. Sharon, who was defense minister at the time, lost his job.

Waltz with Bashir is competing against four other foreign language films for the Academy Award. The winner will be announced late next month.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

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