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"How To Win A Cosmic War" Meets "Waltz With Bashir": Reza Aslan in conversation with Ari Folman

April 24, 2009

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Winning Without War
A new American president, political change in Israel, and turmoil in the Middle East.

Is there a political solution to Israel-Palestine, Iran, Iraq?

Are we in the midst of a "Cosmic War"?

If politics have failed, what is the alternative?

Two creative minds, writer and scholar of religions Reza Aslan and filmmaker Ari Folman, come together to explore this morass.

Reza Aslan's new book, How To Win A Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror, explodes the cosmic legacy of the Bush years that pitted Christianity against Islam and good against evil and he argues for a dramatic re-orientation in how we think about the ongoing struggle with Islamic extremism. Ari Folman brings his own unique experience in writing and directing his recent Academy Award nominated film, Waltz with Bashir, to demonstrate the remarkable power and authority that art, and especially movies, can have in changing the political conversation.

Reza Aslan and Ari Folman will discuss political and religious wars through the lens of the arts and media taking us beyond the tired realities and offer a way forward.

This event is co-presented by the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel.

About Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan is assistant professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and Senior Fellow at the Orfalae Center for Global and International Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara. He is a frequent commentator on CNN, CBS, and NPR, as well as cofounder and creative director of BoomGen Studios, a hub for creative content from and about the Middle East. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Los Angeles Institute for the Humanities, and the Pacific Council on International Policy. His first book, No god but God, has been translated into thirteen languages. His articles and interviews have appeared in the Boston Globe, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Sojourners, Sun Magazine, the Guardian, and many other papers around the world. Born in Iran, he now lives in Los Angeles.

About Ari Folman

Ari Folman is a writer, director, and producer. His animated feature film, Waltz with Bashir, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foregin film in 2009. Based on a true story, the film is a quest into the director's memory for the missing pieces from the days of the Lebanon War in the mid 80s. Ari Folman and David Polonsky are the authors of the graphic novel, Waltz with Bashir: A Lebanon War Story. Folman has written for several successful Israeli TV series, including the award-winning In Therapy (Be Tipul), which was the basis for the HBO series In Treatment. His other films include Saint Clara, based on a novel by Czech author Pavel Kohout; Made in Israel; and Comfortably Numb.He lives in Israel.