Athens International Film Festival

    Archive : 19th AIFF 2013

  • Ari Folman: Memories from the Future

    Thanks to his Holocaust survivor parents, Folman found himself in the heart of darkness at an age when others were still building castles in the sky. Years later, "Waltz with Bashir" will deliver him from untold memories and bring him international acclaim.

    But Ari Folman isn't just another filmmaking talking about the war, he's a spellbinding storyteller. This realization only dawned on him in the mid-80s, when he postponed a trip around the world and started sending his friends fictional dispatches from all over the world for the duration of a year. The adventures he conjured up was his strongest motivation to become a filmmaker.

    His ability to deal with the horrors of war from a personal perspective and his cathartic sense of humor clearly surfaced in "Comfortably Numb", a non-fiction piece that paved the way for television documentaries. His transition to fiction took place in 1996, when Folman wrote and directed the narrative feature "Saint Clara".

    Keeping his intimate relationship with documentary alive, Folman returned to fiction five years later with "Made in Israel", confirming a tendency towards a cinematic universe that went above and beyond the constraints of straight-up realism. It looks like his well of imaginary travel memoirs never really dried up.

    His tenure on television shows like "In Therapy", the precursor of US TV series "In Treatment" and "The Material That Love is Made of", where each episode kicked off with a 5-min animated documentary, offered him the technical expertise and psychoanalytical insight he would later channel into the film that made him famous: "Waltz With Bashir", a masterpiece of animated non-fiction. Using his traumatic experiences as a marine in the Israel Defence Forces during the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War, Folman delivered a devastating testament to lost memory.

    One could argue his latest film, "The Congress", rekindles the conversation on the memory of a fading world, where real experiences are substituted by a mixture of digitally and chemically-induced hallucinations. Only this time around, it's the memory of our own world he's talking about.

    Konstantinos Samaras


    The Congress (2013)
    Waltz with Bashir (2008)
    Made in Israel (2001)
    Saint Clara (1996)
    Comfortably Numb (1991)

  • The Congress

    Playing herself, Robin Wright is a middle-aged actress who sees her career in decline, while she's forced to deal with her son's health issues. That's when she's made an ...

  • Waltz With Bashir

    A director, i.e. Ari Folman himself, listens to the confession of a friend and former comrade in the Israel–Hezbollah War about a recurring nightmare. Does it have to do with what happened ...

  • Made in Israel

    Syria delivers the last Nazi in the world to the Israeli authorities to be put on trial, but Danni Hoffman, the millionaire son of a Holocaust survivor, has his own reasons to demand Schultz&rsquo ...

  • Saint Clara

    In a multinational Israeli High School, 13-year old Clara is suspected of a school paper cheating scandal. But the truth is a lot more complex than that. Clara has the ability to predict the ...

  • Comfortably Numb

    Rarely screened, Ari Folman's widely unknown student film, made in 1991, might be somewhat unsophisticated, but it holds special interest for two very good reasons: on the one hand it ...