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‘Waltz With Bashir’ nominated for Oscar

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s "Waltz With Bashir" was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced its Oscar nominations Thursday. The Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 22.

“Waltz with Bashir,” an animated film by and about Israeli director Ari Folman as a traumatized veteran trying to recover his memories of the first Lebanon War, earned a Golden Globe this month for best foreign language film and the best picture of 2008 by the National Society of Film Critics. It also won an Ophir Award, Israel’s equivalent of the Academy Awards, for best film.

An Israeli film has never won an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category.

Folman told JTA he always intended to make “Waltz with Bashir” as an animated film.

“When you look at everything that there is in this film — lost memory, memories of war, which are probably the most surreal things on earth, dreams, subconscious, drugs, hallucination — it was the only way to combine one fluid storyline,” he said. “If it was a classic documentary, it would have shown middle-aged men telling their war experiences and it would have to be covered with footage that you could never find and wouldn’t come close to resembling what they went through. It would be a boring film. And if you made a big action movie with the budget of an Israeli movie, that would just be sad.”

"The Reader," which starts with a teenage boy’s affair with an older woman and ends with the latter convicted as an SS concentration camp guard during World War II, garnered five Oscar nominations.

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