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Graphic Literature

Waltz with Bashir

By Ari Folman
Translated from Hebrew by David Polonsky
THEN IT HAPPENED .
Sign on car: TAXI

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IN A TAXI ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT IN AMSTERDAM .

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SUDDENLY - BOOM !

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THE WAR CAME BACK . MY MEMORY BLEW WIDE OPEN .

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IT WAS NO HALLUCINATION , NO DREAM , NOTHING SUBCONSCIOUS .
IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF THE WAR I'M BARELY NINETEEN . I HAVEN'T EVEN STARTED SHAVING .

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WE'RE DRIVING DOWN A ROAD IN A CONVOY , ORCHARDS ON ONE SIDE , THE SEA ON THE OTHER , AND WE'RE SHOOTING .

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I DON'T KNOW WHO WE'RE SHOOTING AT . WE'RE JUST FIRING LIKE MADMEN TILL NIGHTFALL .
IN THE EVENING WE STOP . AN OFFICER COMES OVER TO US .

Officer: YOU - LOAD UP THE DEAD AND THE WOUNDED ON YOUR VEHICLE AND DUMP THEM .

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Young Man: DUMP THEM ?

Officer: YEAH , DUMP THEM .

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Young Man: DUMP THEM WHERE ?

Officer: HOW SHOULD I KNOW ? LOOK FOR A BRIGHT LIGHT , THAT'S WHERE THEY USUALLY DUMP THE BODIES .
SO I FIND MYSELF GOING BACK THE WAY WE CAME . ME , WHO IN MY WHOLE LIFE HAS HARDLY SEEN A DROP OF BLOOD , LET ALONE AN OPEN WOUND , SUDDENLY I'M COMMANDING AN APC FULL OF INJURED SOLDIERS AND DEAD MEN , LOOKING FOR A BRIGHT LIGHT .

Soldier: WHAT ARE WE SUPPOSED TO BE DOING ? WHY DON'T YOU TELL US WHAT TO DO ?

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Young Man: SHOOT

Solider: AT WHAT ?

Young Man:I DON'T KNOW . JUST SHOOT .

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Solider:ISN'T IT BETTER TO PRAY ?

Young Man: YOU CAN SHOOT AND PRAY .
FINALLY WE SEE IT . THE BRIGHT LIGHTS OF HELICOPTERS , JUST LIKE A HALO .

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WE APPROACH THE LIGHT .

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WHEN WE REACH IT , WE SEE THAT THE PLACE IS FULL OF CORPSES .
WE DUMP THE BODIES MECHANICALLY , AS IF WE WEREN'T THERE .

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WE WASH OUT THE APC , TURN OUR BACKS ..

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AND DRIVE AWAY .

From Waltz with Bashir. Copyright 2009 by Ari Folman and David Polonsky. By arrangement with Metropolitan Books, a division of Henry Holt and Company. All rights reserved.

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