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'Violins in Wartime' Discussion Draws 100 GuestsAt a reception preceding the film screening, Yael Katzir chats with UCLA Professor Emeritus of Hebrew & Comparative Literature Arnold Band and his wife, Ora Band. (Photos by Shalev Netanel)

'Violins in Wartime' Discussion Draws 100 Guests

In an event marking Yom Ha-Atzma’ut, the Israeli day of independence, members of the public and the UCLA community engaged in a discussion with award-winning director Yael Katzir on her latest film, set against the backdrop of the Lebanon war of 2006.

Yael Katzir

More than 100 people gathered to meet award-winning Israeli filmmaker Yael Katzir at a UCLA event marking the Israeli independence day holiday, Yom Ha-Atzma’ut, on April 28. Sponsored by the Younes & Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies, the occasion included a sneak preview of Katzir’s newest work, "Violins in Wartime."

Film producer Dan Katzir (left), pictured with Laura R. and Dan Lefkowitz, an associate professor of music at UCLA, joined the discussion of Yeal Katzir's 'Violins in Wartime.'

Film producer Dan Katzir (left), pictured with Laura R. and Dan Lefkowitz, an associate professor of music at UCLA, joined the discussion of Yeal Katzir's 'Violins in Wartime.'

Set against the backdrop of the second Lebanon war in the summer of 2006, the film portrays the perseverance of a remarkable group of musicians – master artists and students – who continue teaching and practicing violin in spite of the ongoing conflict. The artists struggle to keep worry at bay and to maintain sanity through music. The film is a rare document portraying aspects of Israeli life seldom seen in the media, in which the violin becomes a symbol of abiding Jewish-Israeli resilience.

Katzir has  written and directed numerous acclaimed works including "Praying in Her Own Voice" (2007), "Shivah for Mother" (2004) and "Company Jasmine" (2001).  Following the reception and film, she and her son, producer Dan Katzir, engaged in a lively discussion with the audience.

Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for Israel Studies