Autumn 2009 Features series
Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 4:00pm
Sunday, December 13, 2009 at 7:00pm
Directed by Eran Riklis
Screenplay by Suha Arraf and Eran Riklis
Starring Hiam Abbass, Ali Suliman, Rona Lipaz-Michael, Doron Tavory
Rated PG ·
Israel, Germany and France
Arabic, Hebrew, French and English
Lemon Tree , the tenderly wrought latest feature from Eran Rik lis (The Syrian Bride), is set in the volatile region of the Middle East and finds a delightful way of broaching politics and other, more nuanced human affairs.
Salma (Hiam Abbass, The Visitor) is a Palestinian widow who has lived in her lemon grove near the Israel-West Bank border for decades. When the Israeli defence minister moves in across the way, Israeli security forces are quick to descend upon Salma, claiming that her lemon trees are a possible threat to the minister’s safety. They ask that she remove her trees from the land.
Outraged by this demand, Salma teams up with a young Palestinian lawyer, Ziad Daud (Ali Suliman, Paradise Now, The Syrian Bride), and the issue goes all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court.
This film explores many complex issues pertaining to personal and political identity as Salma wades into the thorny quagmire that is the Middle East crisis. Ultimately, however, it is the layering of human emotion on top of situational contingencies that allows this film to glimpse beyond the bleak bigger picture and into the intimate human dramas that remind us of the will to live, love and go on.