Thursday, October 22, 2009

Lemon Tree (ISRAELI) DVD



(Etz Limon)

DVD Review by Kam Williams


Headline: Middle East Drama Set in the West Bank Arriving on DVD


                When you think of the Middle East, probably the last thing that comes to mind is anybody settling their differences in a civilized manner. But that is exactly what we find in this gripping drama based on a real-life incident which revolved around a standoff between a Palestinian widow (Hiam Abbass) and the Israeli Minister of Defense (Doron Tavory).

Salma Zidane had been quietly minding her own B.I. business on a modest estate she inherited from her father, tending to the lemon grove located on the property with the help of an elderly caretaker (Tarik Copty). But because the land lay along the border between Israel and the West Bank, everything changed the day that Minister Navon and his family moved into the newly-built McMansion right next-door.

The problem was that the Israel equivalent of the Secret Service was charged with the task of protecting them from terrorists. And the first thing they noticed in reconnoitering the perimeter was the cluster of trees directly across from the house which posed a security risk since it could easily provide cover for an assassination attack.

When they inform Salma of their plans to flatten the field, she hires a handsome, young attorney (Ali Suliman) who just happens to be recently divorced. And while the lonely lawyer does his best to focus on the case, it’s no surprise that his head is turned by his well-preserved client. 

Still, the point of the picture is to highlight the trial which the secret lovebirds appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court, despite the overwhelming odds in the favor of the Israeli military. However, a pivotal witness proves to be the Defense Minister’s wife, Mira (Rona Lipaz-Michael), whose compassion helps lead to an 11th hour compromise that would warm the heart of Solomon.

If only every Arab-Israeli conflict could be resolved simply by resorting to Biblical wisdom rather than with bullets and bombs!  


Excellent (3.5 stars)


In Hebrew, Arabic, French and English with subtitles.

Running time: 106 minutes

Studio: MPI Home Video

DVD Extras: Trailer.

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