Lemon Tree 2009 NR

Amazon Instant Video

Available in HD
(52) IMDb 7.3/10
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In this moving drama, a Palestinian widow forms a silent bond with the wife of the Israeli Defense Minister when he threatens to destroy her lemon grove.

Hiam Abbass, Rona Lipaz-Michael
1 hour, 42 minutes

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Product Details

Genres Drama, International
Director Eran Riklis
Starring Hiam Abbass, Rona Lipaz-Michael
Supporting actors Ali Suliman, Doron Tavory, Tarik Kopty, Amos Lavi, Amnon Wolf, Liron Baranes, Smadar Jaaron, Danny Leshman, Ayelet Robinson, Amos Tamam, Loai Nofi, Hili Yalon, Makram Khoury, Michael Warshaviak, Jamil Khoury, Yair Lapid, Einat Saruf, Lana Zreik
Studio Eran Riklis Productions
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 48 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Brian E. Erland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 23, 2009
Format: DVD
Note: Presented in Hebrew with English subtitles.

Summary: The 2008 Israeli film 'Lemon Tree' stars the alluring Hiam Abbass in the role of Salma Zidane a Palestinian widow struggling to maintain her home and lemon tree orchard against the encroachment of her new neighbor Israel Naron (Doron Tavory), the Israeli Prime Minister. The high ranking official sees the orchard as an imminent danger to his families safety, a place where terrorist and snipers can move freely about hidden behind the foliage. Within a matter of days a fence and imposing guard towers rise between the two properties robbing Salma of her privacy and personal space. If that wasn't enough problems escalate to the point where the continued existence of the lemon trees are threatened. Using his political power and influence the Prime Minister plans to have the orchard destroyed thus threatening Salma's only source of income. Can one lone Palestinian woman fight and defeat the "Powers that Be" while maintaining her dignity and self reliance in a male dominated society?

Critique: 'Lemon Tree' explores one of the most reoccurring themes in Israeli films, the theme of boundaries. The lemon tree orchard symbolizes more than just a physical buffer between hostile neighbors. It is a boundary between rich and poor, the powerful and the powerless, Jew and Arab, male and female. While the storyline moves along rather slowly the introspective nature of the film more than makes up for the pace. As the viewer gains deeper and deeper glimpses into the lives and concerns of both households one begins to sympathize not only with Salma but with Mira (Rona Lipaz-Michael), the Prime Minister's wife who finds herself torn between the opposing positions of the two rivals.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Jaroslav Melgr on November 29, 2009
Format: DVD
This is a great and thought-provoking movie with great cast. It is centered in the occupied West Bank where a newly appointed Israeli minister of defense purchased home next to a lemon orchard. The orchard is owned by a Palestinian widow Salma (played by Hiam Abbass) who is struggling to make ends meet. Once the minister moves in, the secret service starts to assess the security situation around the minister's residence. The orchard is an immediate security liability as it could provide cover for attackers and terrorists. First a fence with a guard tower is put in place and soon after the order is issued to cut down the orchard.

Once Salma receives the news, she is distraught yet defiant. She is determined to fight the decision in Israeli courts. She is fortunate enough to find an upstart lawyer who is willing to help her fight the decision in a military court. They stand no chance taking on the Israeli military in their own court and lose. Salma refuses to give up and appeals to the Israeli Supreme Court. As the young lawyer works with Salma, he comes to admire her defiant spirit and continues to helps her all the way through the Supreme Court hearings. They don't win, but achieve some concessions, which is a huge victory itself.

The wife of the defense minister, Mira, spends most of her time home either looking at the beautiful trees in the orchard or trying to explore her surroundings and find some company while ironically trying to get away from the security service folks who are there to protect her. Moving to the West Bank exposes Mira to a new view of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. All of a sudden, it's her family and her home that's invading someone's privacy and threatening someone's existence - namely to Salma and her orchard.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RMurray847 VINE VOICE on December 22, 2009
Format: DVD
THE LEMON TREE is a quiet, gentle film that tries to tackle a big subject in a fairly small manner. This Israeli film (in fact, it was co-funded by the Israeli film council) wants to illustrate the frustrating tensions between Israelis and Palestinians by having one fairly personal event stand-in for the entire conflict. Or at least, that's how audiences seem to want to see it. I choose to look at it as one example of how misunderstanding can be turned into stubborn intransigence by those cultural & political differences. No film can distill something as long-standing and complex as these issues into one story...but one film can certainly shed light.

Just barely on the Palestinian side of the West Bank, Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass) leads a lonely, simple life trying to squeeze a living (pun intended, sorry) out of her small lemon orchard. It's hard work, and other than yielding very tasty lemonade, Salma gets little from her labors. However, these trees were planted by her father, and they are all her family really has connecting it to a past, to give a sense of place & pride. Salma's husband has died many years ago and her grown children are distant from her (her son lives in Washington DC and works as a busboy). She is lonely, but seems more or less at peace with her life and doesn't expect much from it.

One day, just on the Israeli side of the fence, the new Israeli Defense Minister decides to move in with his glamorous wife. One suspects that he has chosen this remote location at least in part to be freer to travel the country away from his wife, because he seems to have a bit of a wandering eye. No doubt, he also felt this location would make some sort of positive political statement.
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