In the 1980s, right after completing his compulsory military training with the Israeli army, Ari Folman decided to fulfill one of his greatest dreams and embarked on a journey around the world. Only two weeks and two countries later, he realized that it was not exactly what he wanted. He holed up in a guesthouse somewhere in south-east Asia and he would sent letters to his friends in which he described completely invented stories from the journey. This experience led him to study cinema. His diploma project – “Comfortably Numb” (1991) was an amusing and utterly absurd story about an Iraqi missile attack in Tel Aviv during the First Gulf War. The film won an Israeli award for the Best Documentary. Between 1991 and 1996 he focused mostly on making documentaries. He then wrote a script and directed a feature film “Saint Clara” based on Pavel Kohout’s novel. The film garnered several awards including the Best Film, the Best Director won in Israel and an Audience Award in Berlin.
Folman’s another great production was “Made in Israel” (2001), a futuristic feature tale about tracking down the last living Nazi. Each single episode of his documentary series “The Material That Love Is Made Of” (2004) commenced with a short animation – it was Folman’s first experience with that artistic technique. Encouraged by the success of the series, he made an animated documentary film “Waltz with Bashir” (2008), which was nominated for the Academy Award. The film is an attempt to regain the memories of the war in Liban. This trail of recollections, the search for truth, and a tumultuous history of the region become, in a natural way, an essential material of the animation.