Lemon Tree (2008)
My Rating: 5/5 STARS
MovieStudio Quote >> “My first Israeli movie. Love the natural touch, and Hiam’s absolutely fantastic as ever!”
Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass), a 45 years old widow from a small Palestinian village in the West bank, finds herself at war with the Israeli Minister of Defense (Doron Tavory) who built his house on the green line border between Israel and the occupied Territories on the edge of Salma’s lemon grove. soon enough the Israeli security forces claim that the grove is a threat to the safety of the minister and issue orders to uproot the lemon trees. salma, whose son is in America and daughters live far away from her, decides to fight for her trees.
She embarks on a legal journey all the way up to the Israeli Supreme Court. Salma is joined by a young Palestinian lawyer, Ziad Daud (Ali Suliman), who fights against a wall of clever military lawyers who have the backing of the government. Ziad, 34, divorced from a Russian woman he met while attending law school in Moscow, falls in love with Salma. Their love affair is a complicated and dangerous one as Palestinian widows are not free to do whatever they like, certainly not fall in love, certainly not with younger men…
Salma realizes that she has inner strengths that allow her to continue her lonely quest, despite the pressures put on her from both sides – Israeli and Palestinian. Salma is fighting for trees that were planted by her father over 50 years ago, trees that have absorbed blood, sweat and tears like the whole region. She will not let them be cut down just to satisfy absurd security requirements.
On the other side of the grove, Mira Navon (Rona Lipaz-Michael), the Minister’s wife, is also undergoing a major change in her life. After fulfilling her duties for so many years, and despite the new house and her husband’s new and powerful job, she feels unhappy. The clock is ticking away and there must be more to life than her share so far. The events around her invisible new neighbor gradually raise her awareness of her husband’s approach to the whole affair, and she finds herself defying what is expected of her. A bond is created between the two women, each of them discovering a new life ahead of them, each in her own territory, across the deep border between them.