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Lemon Tree

~ Winner ~ Berlin Film Festival ~ Audience Award

Directed by Eran Riklis, Lemon Tree stars Hiam Abbass (who was wonderful in The Visitor) as Salma Zidane, a 40-something Palestinian widow who makes a meagre living from her beloved lemon grove, on the border between Israel and the West Bank. However, when the Israeli Defense Minister (Doron Tavory) moves into the house next door, his security team are quick to point out that terrorists could hide in the trees, so the Minister orders that the lemon grove be cut down. Horrified at the Minister’s decision, Salma enlists the aid of Ziad Daud (Ali Suliman), a young Palestinian lawyer, and together they take the case all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court to try and protect the trees. Meanwhile, Salma finds both an unexpected ally in the Minister’s lonely wife, Mira (Rona Lipaz-Michael) and an even more unexpected romance with Ziad. Hiam Abbass is fantastic as Salma, maintaining a quiet dignity throughout her ordeal that is extraordinarily powerful – the expression on her face will stay with you long after you leave the cinema and if there were any justice, she’d get an Oscar nomination. There’s also strong support from Rona Lipaz-Michael, who’s able to say more with a single, understated glance than most actresses manage with three pages of dialogue. In other hands, Lemon Tree could have devolved into heavy-handed allegory and it’s to Riklis’ credit that this never happens. In addition, he orchestrates some genuinely moving scenes and some extremely suspenseful sequences; he also deserves extra credit for the unexpected way he ends the tale. – Matthew Turner, ViewLondon

No screenings currently scheduled.

Directed by: 
Eran Riklis
Running Time: 
In Arabic, Hebrew, English and French with English subtitles
Hiam Abbass, Ali Suliman, Doron Tavory, Rona Lipaz-Michael
Screenplay by: 
Suha Arraf, Eran Riklis

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