Vals Im Bashir (2008) Movie Script

They stand there, barking.
26 dogs.
I see their mean faces.
They've come to kill.
And they tell my boss Bertold:
"Give us Boaz Rein, or we'll eat
your customers. In 1 minute!"
26 dogs?
- Exactly.
How do you know there
are 26 and not 30?
I'm coming to that.
- Well what?
Do you check it out?
- What do you think happens?
I wake up!
- At that point every time?
It always stops there.
Since when?
- Two and a half years.
And you call me now, at this hour?
- Asshole!
Don't call me an asshole.
This dream is coming from somewhere.
I haven't told you everything.
- Like what?
You know, in Lebanon...
What about Lebanon?
At the start of the war,
we went into Lebanese villages
to search for wanted Palestinians.
Yeah, and?
When someone enters a village,
the dogs smell and bark to alert.
Everyone wakes up,
and the fugitives take off.
Someone had to liquidate them.
Otherwise our men would have died.
But why you?
They knew I couldn't shoot a person.
They told me:
"Go ahead and shoot the dogs!"
26 dogs,
I remember every single one.
Every face, every wound,
the look in their eyes... 26 dogs.
How long before they started
appearing in your dreams?
20 years.
Have you tried anything?
- Like what?
Therapy, a psychiatrist,
Shiatsu, anything...
No, nothing. I called you.
I'm just a filmmaker!
Can't films be therapeutic?
You've dealt with all the issues
in your films, right?
But nothing like this.
No flashbacks from Lebanon?
No. Not really.
Are you sure?
Beirut, Sabra and Shatila?
- What about that?
You were only 100 yards away
from the massacre!
More like 200 or 300 yards.
The truth is
that's not stored in my system.
No flashbacks or dreams?
You never think about it?
No, no.
You'll be okay, huh?
You think so?
- Sure.
You're sure?
- Yes. I'll think of something.
- Sure.
The meeting with Boaz
took place in winter, 2006.
That night,
for the first time in 20 years,
I had a flashback
of the war in Lebanon.
Not just Lebanon, West Beirut.
Not just Beirut,
but the massacre
at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps.
What's wrong?
It's 6:30 in the morning!
We all have friends
who are lawyers, doctors, therapists...
Sometimes that friendship costs them.
But you wouldn't
wake your lawyer friend at 6:30!
My lawyer is 10 times cheaper than you!
I just don't understand.
Why Boaz's dream with the dogs?
Why that to jog my memory?
It has nothing to do with me.
Memory is fascinating.
Take this psychological experiment...
A group of people were shown
10 various childhood images.
Nine were really from their childhood
and one was fake:
Their portrait was pasted
into a fairground they never visited.
Eighty percent recognized themselves...
They recognized the fake photo as real!
Twenty percent couldn't remember.
The researchers asked them again.
The second time, the others said
that they remembered the image.
"Such a wonderful day at the park
with my parents."
They remembered
a completely fabricated experience.
Memory is dynamic. It's alive.
If some details are missing,
memory fills the holes
with things that never happened.
So my vision of the massacre
is like the fake photo?
It never happened?
I invented it? It's not real?
I don't know.
Who was there with you?
Carmi was there.
You know him from school.
And someone else I don't recognize.
So go ask Carmi what he remembers.
- He's in Holland.
He's lived there for 20 years.
Go to Holland and ask him
if it bothers you.
Isn't that dangerous?
Maybe I'll discover things
I don't want to know about myself?
Not at all.
You'll discover important things
that you want to know.
We don't go places
where we really don't want to.
A human mechanism
prevents us from entering dark places.
Memory takes us
where we need to go.
See all that?
It's all mine.
All of it?
From those trees to the river.
It all belongs to you?
- Yes, and the house.
It's about 10 acres.
All that just from selling falafel?
- Just from falafel!
- Come and see.
How much falafel did you sell?
- Three years was enough.
In the early '90s
I had a small stand in Utrecht.
Health food was in fashion.
The Middle East too...
Falafel is both healthy
and Middle Eastern.
Everyone thought you'd become
a nuclear physicist.
Who did?
I don't know, your family,
my family, our school friends.
They thought that by the age of 40
you'd be nominated for a Nobel Prize.
By 20, that future was over.
Cold? I'm freezing!
- Let's go inside.
We have to walk all that way?
It's funny you've showed up now.
- When you called...
I had just gone out with my son Thomas.
He's seven.
He was playing with a toy gun
and started asking questions.
"What did you do in the army?
Ever shoot anyone?"
Did you?
- I don't know.
Let's go inside and warm up.
Would you mind if I sketch
you and your son playing in the snow?
Not at all. Draw as much as you like.
I'll fetch him.
It's fine as long as you draw,
but don't film.
As strange as it sounds,
we were transported to war
on a little "Love Boat"
leased by the army or God knows what.
They wanted to mislead the enemy
and launch a surprise attack.
What do you mean a "Love Boat"?
With jacuzzis and bars?
All of that?
- That's how I imagined it.
I later found out it was
just an old commando boat.
For 18 you seemed pretty bright to me.
I never took you for a fighter.
Frankly, it was important to me
for a pretty practical reason.
I felt like everyone else
was screwing like rabbits.
and that I was the only...
How can I put it?
The only nerd good at chess and Math
but with masculinity problems.
So, I had to prove to everyone
that I was the best fighter
and some big hero.
Did you succeed?
Yes, surprisingly enough.
I felt that I was strong and capable.
Then the war started and
they put us on that damned "Love Boat"
Then I...
- You what?
I puked like a pig!
I wondered what the enemy would think.
I finally collapsed on deck
and fell asleep.
I sleep when I'm scared.
To this day,
I escape into sleep and hallucinate.
Unconscious on the deck,
dreaming a woman would come
and take me for the first time,
I saw my best friends
go up in flames before my eyes.
- On the boat.
I woke up just before we docked.
It's dawn, and we're in a city.
Which city?
- How should I know?
Sidon, I think.
Out of pure fear and anxiety
we start shooting like lunatics.
At whom?
- How do I know?
Then an old Mercedes drives up.
Everyone fires at it like crazy.
Two years of training,
and the fear,
the uncontrollable fear...
Then the silence.
The terrible silence of death.
At daybreak
we could see our destruction,
without knowing where we were.
Lying in the car...
What was in the car?
The bodies of a whole family.
Why did you come here?
Me? I...
I lost my memory.
In an accident?
- What?
Did you have an accident?
- What do you mean?
In a car or at work?
No, I didn't have an accident.
I just can't remember anything
about the Lebanon War.
Just one image in my mind.
Somehow you're in it.
What image?
Were you there too?
It's hard to say.
What do you mean?
Were you there?
It's hard to say.
I don't remember anything
about the massacre.
But you were in Beirut
when the massacre took place.
Yes, I remember being there.
I'll never forget
us marching into Beirut.
But the massacre...
How did you say it?
That's not stored in my system.
Then it happened in a taxi
to Amsterdam airport...
Suddenly all the memories came back.
Not a hallucination
nor my subconscious.
The first day of the war. Barely 19,
I haven't even started shaving.
We're driving down a road.
Orchards on one side,
the sea on the other.
We're shooting everywhere
at everything, until nightfall.
That evening, when we stopped,
an officer tells me:
"Load up the dead and wounded.
Go and dump them."
- "Yes, dump."
"How should I know?
Out there, near that bright light.
That's where they're dumped."
So I drive all the way back.
I had never seen an open wound
or any kind of bleeding before.
Now I was in command of a tank
full of the dead and wounded,
looking for a bright light, salvation.
What should we do?
Why don't you tell us what to do?
- At who?
How do I know? Just shoot.
Isn't it better to pray?
- Then pray and shoot.
Finally we see the helicopter lights.
Like halos.
As we get closer to the light,
we see dead and wounded everywhere.
We unload mechanically,
as if we're not even present.
Then we turn around and drive off.
On the first day of the war,
I transported the dead and wounded
from tanks on the coast road.
I'm looking for people who were with me.
Could your men have been among them?
It sounds logical...
We were in the coastal area.
In the western sector...
It's possible.
Do you recognize me here?
I don't recognize myself either.
Crossing the border at Rosh Hanikra,
felt like an excursion.
We took photos,
we told jokes...
We had time to fool around
before going into action.
Good morning, Lebanon
Too much pain to carry on
Good morning, Lebanon
The landscape was beautiful,
trees all around,
a few scattered houses...
A really idyllic pastoral scene.
The slow drive allowed us
to enjoy the scenery.
May your dreams come true
May your nightmares pass
Your existence is a blessing, Lebanon
In a tank, you always feel really safe.
A tank is a very massive
enclosed vehicle.
Inside the tank,
we were protected.
You are torn to pieces
You bleed to death in my arms
You bleed to death in my arms
You are the love of my life
Oh, my short, short life
Tear me to pieces
I'm bleeding...
Suddenly our commander
stopped responding. We lost contact.
Was he beside you?
- Yes.
I saw his head slumped forward.
I went down inside and saw blood,
blood in the tank.
The blood was coming from his neck.
You were next in command?
- Yes, I was.
But I didn't react immediately.
We just stayed in the tank
without even thinking of firing back.
Two minutes later,
there was an explosion. Everyone tried
to escape from the tank hysterically...
without weapons or anything...
Those who stayed inside,
were killed in the tank.
I ran as fast as I could
in zigzags towards the sea.
My only thought:
It's over. I'm done for.
They'll be here any minute.
All I can do is wait for the end.
I saw the building from which they
were shooting, and the commander.
I hoped he'd get closer.
I don't know why,
but he started to retreat.
I felt abandoned by our forces.
I imagined how my mother would react.
We're very close.
I was always like her right hand.
I'm the only one
who helps out at home.
Like the firstborn son.
I took a peek.
I saw them chatting, smoking.
I wondered why
they didn't notice me.
I peeked a few more times,
I realized that they probably thought
that everyone was killed in the attack.
I decided to wait until dark.
I had a good place to hide.
I don't know why, but I decided
to crawl out to the sea.
I didn't want to stay close to shore,
so I swam quite far out.
When I felt I was far out enough
I started swimming south.
How was the sea?
Really calm, no waves.
I felt calm and at peace.
Just me and the sea.
I felt safe, because the sea
was calm and peaceful.
But I was still really afraid
that my strength would fail
and I'd drown.
Or maybe someone might spot me
and shoot at me, kill me.
While swimming through
this peaceful water,
I suddenly heard a loud noise.
I felt the water pulsating.
I felt the turbulent water
enveloping me.
My body shook with fear.
I saw lights in the distance
and I headed in that direction.
They might be Israeli forces.
I kept swimming
but felt my strength was dwindling.
I could barely move my limbs.
Sometimes I simply
let the water carry me along.
I eventually reached shore
and started walking.
I heard voices speaking Hebrew
on the two-way radio.
I knew
that I had to get to them
despite my exhaustion.
To my amazement, it was
the regiment that had abandoned me.
After I got back to my regiment,
I felt like...
like it was me who had
abandoned my comrades.
I always felt
that they regarded me like...
like someone who didn't help
rescue his friends.
As if I had fled the battlefield
just to save my own skin.
I sometimes felt very uneasy.
I broke off contact
with the families of the dead.
At first I visited their graves,
but then I just stopped.
I wanted to forget.
I didn't want to relive those moments.
Visiting the graves, you felt...
- Guilty.
I felt guilty standing at their graves.
As if I didn't do enough.
I didn't do enough.
I wasn't the hero type who carries
weapons and saves everyone's life.
That's not me. I'm not the type.
I bombed Sidon today
amid the clouds of smoke at dawn
I almost went home in a coffin
I bombed Sidon today
One month after Ronnie Dayag
swam back home safely.
the army took the beach
from which he had fled.
They told us we'd soon attack Beirut
and that we'd all die.
But on the beach,
we didn't think much about death.
I had a hut of banana leaves.
Thinking back,
the smell of Patchouli Oil
still makes me nauseous.
It was really popular in the '80s.
For my roommate Frenkel,
Patchouli was not just a fragrance,
it was a way of life.
How do you use it?
Show me.
You sprinkle a drop on your hand,
like this.
This way,
your comrades always know you're there.
I remember my men telling me:
"Frenkel, you walk too fast.
Like a rabbit."
So what do you do? Patchouli!
In the dark, at night...
They couldn't miss me!
The scent is really strong,
even out in the field.
I still use it.
I bombed Beirut today
I bombed Beirut every day
If I came close to death
I couldn't say
I bombed Beirut every day
At the pull of a trigger
We can send strangers
straight to Hell
Sure, we kill some innocent
along the way
If I came close to death
I couldn't say
I bombed Beirut every day
Our daily routine was this:
Get up in the morning,
prepare breakfast
on those frying pans,
potted beef and eggs.
On the beach.
- On the beach.
Take a quick swim,
back into uniform,
then go after some terrorists.
Someone yelled, "Frenkel!"
I noticed a boy holding an RPG.
A kid.
Frenkel, was I there too?
Sure. From training camp,
you were with me wherever I went.
Even there?
- Yes, there too.
Good to know. Of course I was there.
Is it possible that I can't remember
such a dramatic event?
We call them "dissociative events".
It's when a person is in a situation
but feels outside it.
I was once visited by a young man,
an amateur photographer.
I asked him in 1983, "How did you
survive through that grueling war?"
He replied, "It was quite easy.
I regarded it as a long day-trip."
He told himself.
"Wow! What great scenes:
shooting, artillery,
wounded people, screaming..."
He looked at everything
as if through an imaginary camera.
Then something happened:
his 'camera' broke.
He said that the situation
turned traumatic for him
when they arrived in the vicinity of the
stables in Beirut.
The Hippodrome.
He saw a huge number of carcasses
of slaughtered Arabian horses.
"It broke my heart.", he said.
"What had those horses done
to deserve such suffering?"
He couldn't handle seeing
those dead and wounded horses.
He had used a mechanism
to remain outside events,
as if watching the war on film
instead of participating.
This protected him.
Once pulled into the events,
he could no longer deny reality.
Horror surrounded him
and he freaked out.
You told me earlier that
you can't remember being in the orchard
where the boy with the RPG was.
Can you remember other things?
Like going home,
chatting with friends,
events from that time,
something that maybe reminds you
of that time?
Yes, in detail.
- For example?
I can remember perfectly
every furlough.
I remember when I was about 10,
there was a war going on.
And everything came to a halt.
All the fathers were at the front.
All children sat with their mothers
closed up indoors,
behind closed blinds in the dark.
Just waiting for a plane to drop a bomb
and kill them all.
No one even dreamed of going outside.
When I went home from Lebanon
for the first time in six weeks,
and saw that life
was carrying on normally.
My goal on leave
was to get back my girlfriend Yaeli.
She had dumped me the night before
all of this started.
Remember, how?
Add some Sprite...
Bottoms up!
The memories are coming back.
I met people who served with me.
I almost have the full picture.
At which point?
- The first day of the war,
the siege on Beirut.
You remember
that Yaeli dumped you a week before?
How do you know?
Didn't you know
that I was in love with her for years?
No, I didn't know that.
It's true.
What's wrong?
That was 20 years ago.
It's OK. I'm not angry.
At least you had your home,
your family.
What home? What family?
You have no idea.
My father...
To comfort me,
he told me that in his war,
World War II...
Russian soldiers in Stalingrad
were given 48 hours leave
only after one year on the front.
They got on a train,
arrived home at the station,
kissed their girlfriends
on the platform,
then had to get back on board
to head back to the front.
He thought it would comfort me.
In fact, he was right.
After only 24 hours
I was called back to duty.
Back then, a new trend started:
car bombs.
Still popular today.
They're a blast!
A real blast!
So I arrive at this villa
on the outskirts of Beirut.
Everything is made of gold.
Fancy sinks, marble,
gold fixtures and all that stuff.
An officer sits in front of the TV.
He doesn't look at me.
He keeps repeating:
"Fast forward."
Fast forward.
I'm here to check your plumbing.
- Down here.
Have you seen my tool?
- Which tool?
Fast forward.
He changes the tape and says:
We received a tip-off
about a red Mercedes.
It's coming to blow up your men.
- So?
Blow it up first.
Every red Mercedes?
- Are you an idiot?
Did the Mercedes come?
We waited all night
for the exploding Mercedes,
for this impending disaster.
Then, in the middle of the night,
the phone rang.
Bashir is dead.
Which Bashir?
- Bashir Gemayel,
the elected president of Lebanon.
A brother, an ally, a Christian.
Wake everyone up.
You'll be in Beirut in two hours!
I don't remember much
about the flight to Beirut,
except that I was having
obsessive thoughts about death.
Because my girlfriend Yaeli
had dumped me the week before.
Death would be my revenge.
She would be ridden with guilt
for the rest of her life.
While fantasizing about my death,
we approach Beirut.
A city with hotels, beaches,
and people scurrying about.
We land at the international airport.
Our Hercules army helicopter
lands next to jets from Air France, TWA,
and British Airways.
I was excited
like I was going on a trip abroad,
excited all over.
At some point I simply take off
and walk into the terminal.
It felt as if I was on a leisure trip,
a sort of hallucination.
Like standing in a terminal
waiting to choose my destination.
Before that '80s departures board,
the choice is all mine.
I see the 14:10 to London,
the 15:20 to Paris,
the 16:00 to New York...
I wander through the terminal
and see the duty-free shops:
jewellery, tobacco,
While I'm still on this trip,
I suddenly realize what's going on.
Through the window I see
that all the TWA and Air France planes
are just bombed- out shells.
And the shops are empty,
they've long since been looted.
And the schedule board
hasn't changed for months.
Then I start to hear sounds, voices.
I hear shelling in the city
and the bombing by the air force.
Slowly I begin to realize where I am
and I am afraid
of what will happen next.
We start walking
from the airport to the city.
Tall high-rise hotels
hover above us.
The sea is at our side.
We walk along a promenade
towards a large junction.
Then we come under sniper fire
from the upper floors of a hotel.
We can't see where it's coming from
or who is shooting.
A wounded soldier was lying at the
junction, but we couldn't get to him.
We were scared to death.
Then, in the middle of this hell,
that TV correspondent
Ron Ben- Yishai suddenly shows up.
He's walking upright,
dodging bullets like Superman.
Strolling along as if nothing's wrong,
while bullets whiz past him.
In front of him, a terrified cameraman
crawls forward.
Trembling with fear,
he can't see beyond his helmet.
It was a large junction.
One lane led directly
into Hamra street,
to the West Beirut district of Hamra.
I remember the sizzling sound,
a sort of hissing noise...
They were firing masses of RPGs,
and it sounded
like a Native American
arrow-shooting range.
Before an RPG explodes,
it makes this hissing noise.
You don't hear an explosion,
but just this hissing,
then the walls shattering.
During all this,
civilians are seen on balconies:
women, children,
and old people are watching
as if it were a film.
They are shooting at us
from all directions.
And we can't get across.
Throughout my military service
I was a MAG shooter.
During my officer's training, I thought,
"You've used a MAG for so long,
why not try something else?"
So they gave me a Galil.
And while they're shooting at us
from all directions,
I realize that I can't shoot
with the Galil like I could before.
I missed the good old MAG
that I was familiar with.
So I say to Erez,
"Erez, do me a favor.
Give me your MAG.
I won't make it across with the Galil.
Give me your MAG
and we'll cross the street.
I'll shoot better."
He says, " Frenkel, are you nuts?
They're attacking us!
Stop babbling and shoot!"
I finally realize that I must
take drastic steps.
I grab him and say,
"Listen, Erez, give me the MAG,
or I'll take it by force!"
Whether an eternity
or just a minute,
there was Frenkel at the junction
with bullets flying past him
in every direction.
Instead of crossing the junction,
I saw him dancing, as if in a trance.
He cursed the shooters.
Like he wanted to stay there forever.
As if he wanted to show off
his waltz amid the gunfire,
with the posters of Bashir
above his head.
And Bashir's followers
preparing their big revenge
just 200 yards away:
The Sabra and Shatila massacre.
I'm starting to remember.
I've met people,
I've heard stories...
Stories about myself.
I didn't want to believe them.
So what can't you remember?
The day of the massacre.
I can remember everything else.
I don't understand
why people were so surprised
that the Phalangists
carried out the massacre.
I knew all along
how ruthless they were.
During the storming of Beirut
we were in the slaughterhouse.
- The slaughterhouse, that junk yard
where they took the Palestinians,
interrogated them, and executed them.
It was like being on an LSD trip.
They carried body parts
of murdered Palestinians
preserved in jars of formaldehyde.
They had fingers, eyeballs,
anything you wanted.
And always pictures of Bashir.
Bashir pendants, Bashir watches,
Bashir this, Bashir that...
Bashir was to them
what David Bowie was to me.
A star, an idol,
a prince, admirable.
I think they even felt
an eroticism for him.
Totally erotic.
Their idol was about to become king.
We were the ones to crown him.
The next day he was murdered.
It was obvious they'd avenge his death
in some perverse way.
It was as if their wife
had been murdered.
This was about family honor,
which runs deep.
Why did you come back?
I'm still having these hallucinations
about the massacre on the beach.
And you're there with me.
You're crazy.
You're obsessed.
Beach? What are you talking about?
Who was on the beach that night?
What beach?
I've reached a dead end.
I can't find anyone
who was with me at the massacre.
No one who was with me
has any solid memories
of the days of the massacre.
I only have this one vision.
And Carmi, the only person in my vision,
denies being there with me.
It's still real.
- It's a vision.
But it's yours. Shall I explain?
- Yes.
What does the sea symbolize in dreams?
Fear. Feelings.
The massacre frightens you,
makes you uneasy. You were close to it.
That doesn't help me much.
Your interest in the massacre developed
long before it happened.
Your interest in the massacre
stems from another massacre.
Your interest in those camps
is actually about the "other" camps.
Were your parents in camps?
- Yes.
- Yes.
So the massacre has been with you
since you were six.
You lived through the massacre
and those camps.
Your only solution
is to find out what really happened
in Sabra and Shatila.
Seek out people.
Find out what really happened,
ask who was there.
Get details and more details.
That way...
Then maybe you can find out
where you were exactly.
and what role you played.
On that day we were sent
to a certain post.
It was actually on a hill.
This hill
was opposite the western sector
of the refugee camp.
From where I was,
I could see the settlement houses.
There was occasional shooting.
We tried to locate them
and retaliate.
The Christian Phalangist forces
began to arrive.
In full kit,
soldiers in Israeli uniforms
took position behind tanks.
I was called for a briefing.
It was in English.
What was it about?
- They told us that the Christians
would enter the camp
and we would give them cover.
Once they had purged the camps.
we would seize control.
Purged of what?
- Palestinian Terrorists.
The next morning,
they began to bring out civilians.
The civilians were led out of the camps
in a long line.
The Phalangists watched on,
constantly shouting at them
and occasionally firing into the air.
There were women, old people,
and children walking in a line
towards the stadium.
From inside the tank, did you wonder
where they were taking them?
Did you think about it?
Not really, because wherever we went,
an announcement was made
upon entering a camp.
Civilians were ordered out.
Those remaining were considered rebels.
It seemed quite natural
to say to the residents,
"If you don't want to get hurt,
then come out!"
On that day I drove to Docha,
a city on the coast.
It had
an Israel Defense Forces landing field.
On the way,
many Phalangist
half-track vehicles appeared.
They shouted with joy
as they headed towards the airfield.
At the airfield,
I met a Colonel friend.
He told me,
"Have you heard
what's happening in the refugee camps?"
He had pointed to Sabra and Shatila.
"What's happening?" I asked.
"I didn't witness it myself, but they
say there was a terrible massacre."
Palestinians were slaughtered.
I heard they put them on trucks.
I was told that crucifixes
were carved on their chests.
They were wounded,
some in critical condition.
They were put on trucks
and taken to an unknown destination.
We saw a Phalangist soldier
taking an old man away.
At some point we heard shots.
We heard shots.
Then the soldier came out alone.
We asked him what happened.
We couldn't hear him,
but his gestures meant "Boom!"
We understood that he'd told the man
to kneel down before him.
When he refused, he shot his knees.
When he refused again,
he shot him in the stomach and head.
Didn't you ever realize
that trucks were going in empty
and coming out full,
women and children were brought out
and bulldozers went in?
That maybe
a massacre is taking place?
Did you wonder
why you didn't realize earlier?
Yes, of course.
I realized something was happening
only when my men told me.
From the top of their tanks,
they started shouting,
"They are shooting people!"
They claim that people were lined up
against the well and shot.
So I called my commanding officer.
I told him what I heard
was going on in the camps.
He said, "We know about it.
It's under control. We reported it."
As far as I was concerned,
the army was handling it.
Where was the operations room,
the headquarters?
About 100 yards away.
On top of a very tall building.
How tall?
- Tall enough to see everything.
They surely had a better view
than I did.
I didn't want to walk around at night,
so I drove
to my place in Bahabda.
I had an apartment in Beirut.
Micha Friedman was with me.
We decided to make dinner.
Micha invited the guys from
the regiment of the 211th Brigade.
During the meal,
the regiment commander took me aside.
He said: "Ron,
my men say there's a massacre
going on in the camps."
He mentioned one or two incidents,
saying a family was seen shot.
I asked him again,
"Did you see it yourself?"
"I didn't", he said,
"but my soldiers told me about it.
The officers sitting here did, too."
We talked about it over dinner later.
As soon as they left at 11:30 pm,
I knocked back a whiskey
and phoned Defense Minister Arik Sharon.
At his ranch.
Arik was half asleep.
I said, "I've heard
there's a massacre going on, Arik.
They are slaughtering Palestinians.
We have to put a stop to it."
He asked me,
"Did you see it yourself?"
"No", I said, but there are
several witnesses who saw it."
"Okay", he said.
"T hanks for bringing it
to my attention. That was all.
You'd normally say, "I'll check it out,
I'll look into it. But no!
He said, Thanks for bringing it
to my attention. Happy New Year!"
Well, something along those lines.
Then back to sleep!
It's amazing.
A massacre took place,
it was carried out by
Christian Phalangists.
All around were several circles
of our soldiers
Every circle had some information.
The first one had the most. However,
the penny didn't drop.
They didn't realize
they were witnessing a genocide.
What circle were you in?
In the second or third.
What did you do?
We stood on a roof
and saw the sky was lit up.
With what?
- Flares.
Flares that must have helped them
do what they were doing.
Did you fire the flares?
Is that important?
Does it make any difference
if I fired them
or if I just saw the flares
that helped people shoot others?
In your state of mind at that time,
it didn't really make a difference.
You can't remember the massacre
because in your opinion,
the murderers and those around them
are the same circle.
You felt guilty at the age of 19.
you took on the role of the Nazi.
You were there firing flares,
but you didn't carry out the massacre.
I woke up at 5 or 5:30,
and I woke everyone up,
the whole team.
Then I drove to Sabra and Shatila.
When I arrived there...
What a mess!
You know that picture
from the Warsaw ghetto?
The one with the kid
holding his hands in the air?
That's just how the long line of women,
old people and children looked.
I thought about
going to Brigadier Amos's headquarters,
but as I was leaving,
Amos suddenly turned up.
He drove to the head of the convoy.
His angry gestures
forced them to stop.
And that was the end of it.
The Phalangists
withdrew back up the street.
The women and children
returned to the camp.
The Palestinians?
- Yes.
I said to my men,
"We're going in with them...
With those women and children.
We'll see what happened in there."
Inside the camp we saw
a huge amount of rubble.
My eye caught
a hand, a small hand.
A child's hand
stuck out from the rubble.
I looked a bit closer and saw curls.
A head of curls covered in dust.
It was hard to make out.
But it was a head,
exposed up to the nose.
A hand and a head.
My own daughter was the same age
as that little girl.
And she had curly hair, too.
The Palestinians in refugee camps
have houses with courtyards.
These courtyards were full
of bodies of women and children.
The young men had been shot first.
Then the rest of the family
was dealt with.
We entered one alley,
a very narrow alley...
the width of a man and a half
That alley was full...
Piled up to the height of a man's chest
with the bodies of young men.
That's when I became aware
of the results of the massacre.