Israel has taken over the Cannes Film Festival, or so it seems: The Israeli delegation to Cannes proved dominant on the festival's opening night, as two Israeli films made their debut.
Director Ari Folman's 'Waltz With Bashir' , which is one of the festival's Official Selection contenders opened to rave reviews: The animation documentary has its hero struggling to make peace with certain gaps in his memory, pertaining to events he witnessed in the first Lebanese war and the 1982 Sabra and Shatila massacre.
"This isn't a political film," Folman told Yedioth Ahronoth Friday, "it's the story of one Israeli soldier. I wanted to see what happened with the ordinary men who were stationed there… To show what they went through while realizing something horrible was taking place just over the hills they were guarding.
"I can only hope that any 16-year-old kid watching this film will walk away not wanting to ever fight a war," he added.
Meanwhile, brother-sister team Shlomi and Ronit Elkabetz debuted their new film 'Shiva' in the festival's Critics’ Week. The film, which opened the week's screenings, tells the story of the volatile fabric of a large family of Moroccan descent, which comes undone while they all meet to mourn – sit Shiva – one of the brothers; all the while the events of the Gulf War are riddling the background.
The film's premiere was attended by the directors, as well as by the film's leading lady, Keren Mor.