Waltz with Bashir

Waltz with Bashir
Genre: Animation, Biography, Documentary | Director: Ari Folman | Language: Hebrew, English Subtitles | Length: 90 minutes | Country: Israel, Lebanon | Year: 2008 | Rating: R

One night at a bar, an old friend tells director Ari about a recurring nightmare in which he is chased by 26 vicious dogs. Every night, the same number of beasts. The two men conclude that there’s a connection to their Israeli Army mission in the first Lebanon War of the early eighties. Ari is surprised that he can’t remember a thing anymore about that period of his life. Intrigued by this riddle, he decides to meet and interview old friends and comrades around the world. He needs to discover the truth about that time and about himself. As Ari delves deeper and deeper into the mystery, his memory begins to creep up in surreal images.

Persepolis

Persepolis
Genre:
Animation, Biography, Drama | Director: Marjane Setrapi | Language: Persian, English Subtitles | Length: 96 minutes | Country: Iran | Year: 2007 | Rating: PG-13

This is a poignant coming-of-age story of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl that begins during the Islamic Revolution. In 1970s Iran, Marjane ‘Marji’ Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah’s defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses firsthand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: 7.C&G.1.4, WH.H.8.2

The Message

The Message
Genre: Adventure, Biography, Drama | Director: Moustapha Akkad | Language: English | Length: 177 minutes | Year: 1977 | Rated: PG

This must-see epic depicts the birth of Islam. In the 7th century Mohammed is visited by Angel Gabriel who urges him to lead the people of Mecca and worship God. Starring Anthony Quinn, this epic movie charts the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the early spread of Islam. The film is kin to Lion of the Desert, Lawrence of Arabia and other big budget ‘sword and sandal movies’ made pre-CGI. The Message remains as one of the most quintessential films ever made about Islam. What is sad but provides a strong message is that the filmmaker of film, who was Muslim, was killed in a terror attack in Lebanon a couple of years ago.

Watch the documentary online here.

NCSCOS Essential Standards: 6.C.1.2, WH.H.2.5