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 Assaf Banitt 


Special guest:


Dr. Ze’ev Lehrer

Head of Sociology Program at the Peres Academic Center

Winner of the John E. O'connor Film Award 2023, for

"outstanding interpretations of history through the medium of film"

About the Film

Over the span of fifty years, the Israeli Military Censor secretly copied soldiers' personal letters, extracting their views on the most contentious issues facing Israeli society. The findings were presented to leaders in a top-secret report identified as “The Soldier’s Opinion.”

The Soldier's Opinion premiered in the last Jerusalem Film Festival, as a part of the Israeli documentary competition. It sketches an alternative history of Israel through the story of this report. After the premiere in Jerusalem, the film was shown on the Israeli documentary channel Hot8, and held its North American premiere at the Other Israel Film Festival in New York City.

The Soldier's Opinion was directed by the award-winning Israeli filmmaker Assaf Banitt. The documentary was co-created with Professor Shay Hazkani, whose groundbreaking book Dear Palestine: A Social History of the 1948 War—which examines hundreds of personal letters by Jewish, Palestinian, and Arab volunteers who fought in the war or became its victims—inspired the film. 

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About the Speakers

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Assaf Banitt is an award-winning Israeli documentary film director and editor. His first film, Against Your Will, won the special jury mention at the Docaviv festival and his second film, The Soldier's Opinion, participated in the Jerusalem Film Festival. Banitt is a graduate of the Sam Spiegel Film & Television school and the MFA program at Tel Aviv University's department of Film and Television. 

Dr. Ze’ev Lehrer heads the Sociology Program at the Peres Academic Center and is a lecturer in the NCJW Women and Gender Studies Program at Tel Aviv University. He was a senior scholar in the Department of Behavioral Sciences in the IDF, and he specializes in studies of gender and ethnicity in organizations and the study of understanding of the other in everyday life.

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Roni Aboulafia spent parts of her childhood and adolescence in São Paulo, Brazil. After graduating from the Sam Spiegel Film and Television School in 1999, she moved to New York to specialize in documentary film production. Since returning to Israel in 2004, she has been directing documentary films and creating shows for television. Her projects have been critically acclaimed both in Israel and at international film festivals including the Sundance Film Festival, the Jerusalem Film Festival, and more. In 2017, she won an Israeli Academy Award for Best Documentary Series for School of Hope. Her latest film, Honorable Men, debuted at DocAviv 2020. In 2021 she spent the year evacuating Afghans at risk after the US withdrawal. Her new documentary project focuses on some of the evacuees.

"This eye-opening film, at times moving and at times devastating, is a must-see."

The Forward

“Leaves the audience enthralled”

Avner Shavit, Walla

 "A successful combination of emotionally stimulating content and a complex theme"

Smadar Shiloni, YNET

"An excellent, important film"

Tomer Kamerling, Mako


Festivals & Awards:

Director: Assaf Banitt
Script and Research: Assaf Banitt, Shay Hazkani
Category: History / Sociopolitical / Army / Human Rights / Privacy / Israel
Production: Shahar Ben Hur, Assaf Banitt
Produced for Channel 8 – Hot Cable Communication, Israel / 2022
Supported by The Other Israel Film Fund, USA and The New Fund for Cinema and Television (NFCT), Israel
Language: Hebrew

Subtitles: English
Length: 55 minutes

The schedule

⇒ April 18 - April 25 , watch the film "The Soldier’s Opinion" on your home device.

A link will be provided to all who register.

⇒ Sunday, April 21 at 2:00 p.m. US Eastern Time, tune into the program with director Assaf Banitt & Dr. Zeēv Lehrer.  A link will be provided to all who register.

Please support the project.

Help the filmmakers make Israeli films and reach thousands of people around the world with them.

20% of the proceeds from the event will be donated to The Hostage and Missing Families Forum.

No admission. Pay as you wish.

(Recommended donation 18$)

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Winner of the John E. O'connor Film Award 2023, for

"outstanding interpretations of history through the medium of film"

Film Screening & Director zoom Conversation with

 Sunday April 21


 Assaf Banitt 


Roni Aboulafia

Filmmaker (moderator)

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Dr. Ze'ev Lehrer

The Peres Academic Center

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