For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development



Animated documentary follows director’s struggle to recapture lost memories of time spent in the Israeli army

PHILADELPHIA, February 2010—The Free Library of Philadelphia is pleased to announce the 2010 One Film selection, Ari Folman’s Waltz with Bashir (2008). Running from February 17 through March 17, One Film strives to promote film literacy and critical thinking by encouraging community members to watch, study, and discuss a single film. This year, audiences will explore the medium of animation and Israeli cinema and history through Folman’s self-proclaimed anti-war film.

With striking imagery and a brilliant score, Waltz with Bashir evokes the sense of disruption experienced by soldiers everywhere. Folman’s award-winning animated memoir follows his journey into the past to recapture lost memories of his time spent serving in the Israeli Defense Forces during the First Lebanon War. At once jarring and poetic, Waltz with Bashir is characterized by the use of animations and dark humor as the lens through which Folman examines his experience. Waltz with Bashir was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2009 Academy Awards and the Palme d’Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival—it won the 2009 Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

“As a new provocative genre, the animated anti-war documentary-memoir Waltz with Bashir defies any single category,” said One Film Chair Ruth Perlmutter. “I am proud that we have selected such a courageous and challenging moral testament that has also contributed to the worldwide recognition of the excellence of recent Israeli film.”

To expand on the themes of the film, audiences are encouraged to attend a variety of related programs, such as lectures, panel discussions, and workshops. Highlights of the season include Adaptation: How Books Become Films and Films Become Books on March 1; Looking Forward, Looking Back: The Historical Context of Waltz with Bashir on March 2; and Critical Mass: A Panel Discussion on Waltz with Bashir on March 8. Event details and additional resources—including maps, historical timelines, discussion guides, and director and cast biographies—can be found at

To celebrate the kick-off of the film education program, a special “opening night” screening of Waltz with Bashir will be held on Wednesday, February 17, at 7:00 p.m. at the Parkway Central Library. Presented in partnership with the Middle East Film Festival of the University of Pennsylvania’s Middle East Center, the evening will open with a keynote address by Asaf Romirowsky. Former Manager of Israel and Middle East Affairs at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Romirowsky served as an Israeli Defense Forces reserve liaison officer to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

One Film operates in partnership with the Free Library of Philadelphia’s One Book, One Philadelphia and serves as a complement to the literacy education program. The program was established in memory of Archie Perlmutter, a founding board member of the Philadelphia International Film Festival and co-founder and former artistic director of the Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival. Audiences are encouraged to draw connections between Waltz with Bashir and The Complete Persepolis—the featured selection of the 2010 One Book, One Philadelphia program—as examples of the ways in which animation and graphic art can be used as a powerful medium for the exploration of personal memory.

Support for the 2010 One Film program has been provided by MiND Independence Media (WBYE), Philadelphia Weekly, and the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, as well as many individual donors and more than 80 community partners.

Please note that this film is rated “R” by Motion Picture Association of America for disturbing images of atrocities, strong violence, brief nudity, and sexual content.


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The Free Library of Philadelphia system consists of 49 branches, three regional libraries, the Parkway Central Library, and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. With more than 6 million visits annually, the Free Library is one of the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia.



Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850