Amnon Weinstein’s journeys to countries that include Poland, France, Italy and Lithuania are chronicled in “Amnon’s Journey,” a short documentary of an enthusiast’s quest to locate and restore violins that belonged to Jews during the Holocaust.
In this documentary, which will be screened this weekend at the JFilm: Jewish Film Festival, The violins tell the story of people who once played the instrument lovingly, or in some cases, played them on the way to the gas chambers.
Trained as a violinmaker by his father, Moshe Weinstein, Amnon brings life back to the violins with his restorations and by delving into the history of each instrument.
“The music of these violins is the only perceivable experience that we can share with the victims of the Nazis,” he said, explaining that we can hear the notes that made the people sad or happy, unlike the limits of what we can glean from photos.
There is much to admire in this “Amnon’s Journey” besides Amnon: it is beautifully filmed and the violin music is exquisite, featuring musicians Shlomo Mintz, Yair Dalal and Cihat Askin. Add the fascinating visuals of violin restoration and you have a movie that has broad appeal.
Consult your film guide for times and dates.
(Angela Leibowicz can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)