The second Lebanon -war (summer 2006) invades the life of violin maker Amnon Weinstein. His co-worker- son is immediately drafted. The annual violin master course he founded is about to begin, and world class soloists Ida Handel and Shlomo Mintz are due to arrive to teach young violinists from around the world. As sirens wail and cities become the front, the film captures intimate moments of struggle with fear and trauma reflecting on the violin’s unique narrative in Jewish tradition, and the way music keeps us sane.
Violins in Wartime –is a uniquely moving chronicle about a man who continues to make violins so that music will win war over.
When the 2ed Lebanon war started, like any other war unexpectedly,
I found myself rather paralyzed. My Son an infantry officer was out of the country, and directly I was not involved…
Yet an old secret zipper, the zipper of motherly anxiety was opened.
I found it hard to concentrate and I was aware that the fears of the first Lebanon war in which he participated were flooding my soul.
Than one day I heard Violins playing all over the campus of Beit Berl Academic college where I work. It was the Violins of The summer Master course of Keshet Eylon which were moved from Kibbutz eylon on the Lebanese border to the center of Israel, far away from the Missiles range. The music and the Idea that people can play were in a way a kind of remedy to my post traumatic motherly soul.
I decided to document this unique Violin master course and create a picture which none of the Televisions is interested in.
How do one cope with a continuing –threat- war situation.
How one overcomes the trauma’s of previous wars and how the ideal of normal life can be preserved.
Following especially Amnon -Weinstein a master Violin builder and the entire group of the young violin soloists who came to Israel in spite of the war, including the famous violinists, the legendary Ida- Haendel, and Maestro Shlomo- Mintz, Prof Itzehack Rashkovski enabled me to learn something about the power of music. Something which I have not anticipated before in my life. For me music was culture but here it became a shield against worry and fear.
The film is a chronicle of people who continue to hold to art, of people who refuse to give in to the shaking reality of war.
But a war even when one is not involved in directly invades everyone’s routine. The sounds of war mingle with the sound of music but inspite of the situation and some moments of acute worry and pain the violins continue to play. Amnon the Violin builder is strongly connected to his Jewish past he dedicated time to collect and repair Violins that survived the holocaust , and on one occasion after a terrible missile attack on Haifa, he finds shelter with these Violins. Amnon’s son is in the war and we see also how a father copes with the situation. (very differently from his wife Assi)
After these three weeks in the kingdom of Violins I started to realize that a tiny instrument weighing half a kilo can be a source of consolation and a symbol of the strength of the human spirit.
The film is a symbolic film about the way one can deal with war situation through art. I am grateful to Amnon and his family who opened for me a window into their more intimate life in times of war, their struggle is also my kind of struggle.