2001-2010DramaEran RiklisGermanyWar

Eran Riklis – Etz Limon aka Lemon Tree (2008)

Salma, a Palestinian widow – living there for decades – , has to stand up against her new neighbor, the Israeli Defense Minister, when he moves into his new house opposite her lemon grove, on the green line border between Israel and the West Bank. The Israeli security forces are quick to declare that Salma’s trees pose a threat to the Ministers safety and issue orders to uproot them.

Together with Ziad Daud, a young Palestinian lawyer, Salma goes all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court to try and save her trees. Her struggle raises the interest of Mira Navon, the Defense ministers wife, trapped in her new home and in an unhappy life. Despite their differences and the borders between them the two women develop an invisible bond, while forbidden ties grow stronger between Salma and Ziad. Salmas legal and personal journey lead her deep into the complex, dark and sometimes funny chaos of the ongoing struggle in the Middle East, in which all players find themselves alone in their struggle to survive.

Variety Review :
The rare ability to make intelligent, entertaining cinema from hot-button current issues is beautifully illustrated by “Lemon Tree,” a multifaceted drama straddling the Palestinian-Israeli chasm that’s marbled with irony, generosity, anger and pure crowd-pleasing optimism. As in his 2004 hit, “The Syrian Bride,” Israeli helmer Eran Riklis takes a story of border sensitivities but reduces its political components to a simple human level, topped by an outstanding, kudo-worthy perf from Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass. Bafflingly denied a competing slot in Berlin, pic should still bounce into warm upscale distribution, especially in Europe, with positive reviews.

Co-scripting again with Palestinian former journalist Suha Arraf, and working with the same French-German co-producing team, Riklis, whose populist touch stretches back to the 1992 hit “Cup Final,” has come up with another allegorical yarn that packs a much more direct political punch. Though pic plays directly to the pro-Palestinian international gallery, and at popular feeling in many quarters against Israel’s own version of the Berlin Wall, it’s actually an improvement on “Bride” in structure and content. Characters are better balanced and developed, and the script doesn’t feel the need to spell everything out in the cause of evenhandedness.

2.03GB | 1h 46m | 716×464 | mkv


Subtitles:English, Spanish

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