Ari Folman, in the film, does not remember what happened or where he was during the massacre; but he continues to have a dream that prompts him to ask those people he knew to be there at the time what role, if any, he played in the events leading up to, and including, the massacre. As it turns out, his role was an indirect one: he, along with his IDF unit, continuously fired flares into the air throughout the night, allowing for the Lebanese Phalangist militiamen to slaughter men, women, and children. The death tolls are extremely inconclusive, with some reports saying as little as 328 or as many as 3,500 murdered.
"Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind."
Further adding to the film's robustness is its animation and soundtrack. Both elicit a certain aesthetic quality to an otherwise disgusting story of humanity. However, one must remember that this is not a work of self-hatred, or any, for that matter. This film very subtly gets to the core of the human struggle: we're not perfect. There is genuine remorse and horror to be found from the characters (albeit real people), and maybe that's enough to show signs of hope. This is to be seen, researched, and discussed for a long time to come. This struggle continues to this day, with no end in sight. Viewer beware: the last minute of the film shows original (actual) footage of the survivors' post-massacre reactions. It will break your heart to see.
Here is the trailer:
It is also available as a graphic novel from Metropolitan Books.