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Zaytoun


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Zaytoun + Bethlehem + Fill the Void
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In 1982, amid the Lebanese Civil War, Israeli pilot Yoni (Stephen Dorff) is shot down over Beirut and is taken prisoner by inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp. Among the captors is ten-year-old Fahed, whose father obsessively tends to his prized, but sickly olive tree, refusing to replant it until they return to their ancestral land. Despite his deep-rooted hatred for Yoni, Fahed realizes he can use him to get past the border and into Palestine to plant his father's olive tree. The two embark on a harrowing and dangerous journey one that tests the very boundaries of humanity. ZAYTOUN is a story of survival, reconciliation and friendship.

Review

A masterpiece of peace, hope, and endless possibilities --The Huffington Post

Tries to strike a hopeful note amid the many woes of the Middle East --San Francisco Chronicle

Touching --The New York Times

Product Details

  • Actors: Stephen Dorff, Abdallah El Akal, Alice Taglioni
  • Directors: Eran Riklis
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Strand Releasing
  • DVD Release Date: February 18, 2014
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00G2GDV0C
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,200 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

I'm a big fan of Israeli cinema.
Andy Orrock
More challenging and interesting would have been an Israeli boy and Palestinian fighter as prisoner.
G. Teslovich
It is a very difficult topic to develop in a contemporary film.
Amado Machorro-Cervantes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Whitt Patrick Pond TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 10, 2013
Format: DVD
Directed by Israeli director Eran Riklis (The Syrian Bride, Lemon Tree), Zaytoun - a film set in war-torn 1982 Lebanon about a Palestinian refugee boy who helps a captured Israeli pilot escape and make his way back to Israel - is not a bad film. But that said, it's not a good one either, mainly because, for all of its merits and its potential, the only times when it isn't predictable are when it also simply isn't believable.

Fahed (Abdullah El Akal) is a fourteen-year-old Palestinian boy living in a refugee camp in Lebanon with his father and grandfather. The year is 1982 and Lebanon is one big war zone divided among myriad factions, from various Lebanese and Palestinian militias to Syrian and Israeli military forces, all vying for control. Some of the film's best scenes are the early ones which show what life is like for Fahed, his family and his friends, as they try to eke out an existence in a country where they're not wanted and where they daily take their lives in their hands just crossing from one part of Beirut to another. Fahed's father scolds him for risking his life just to earn what little money he can get from hawking gum, but at the same time knows that the family needs those meager coins to survive. His father clings to hope in the form of a potted olive tree that he carefully tends each day, a tree that he hopes to one day take back to the family's home in Israel which they had been forced to leave when Fahed was only a small boy and that Fahed can only barely remember.

After his father is killed in an Israeli bombing raid, Fahed becomes more involved with the local Palestinian militia, just when an Israeli jet is shot down over Beirut.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By G. Teslovich on March 16, 2014
Format: DVD
The focus of the movie was suppose to be on the unlikely friendship between an Israeli downed pilot and a young Palestinian boy living as a refugee in Lebanon. The writer & director in downplaying/avoiding the backstory of the intense emotional and factual discord between Palestinians and Israelis results in a movie lacking realism. Also, little backstory on the boy's mothers death before the film starts or the boy's fathers death seemed shallow. Similarly we are given little in the daily life of this boy's family.

The entire episode of the pilot (obvious white guy w/visible handcuffs visible all the time) and boy escaping and traveling such long distances without drawing much attention seemed contrived as did the boy's warming to the pilot despite a life surrounded by Palestinian causalities incurred by Israelis; especially death that rains down from the sky.

Finally, the ending where the boy is sent back to what is likely to be his death for his role in the loss of such an important trade asset seemed unlikely. Also unlikely, given that an Israeli soldier is worth a thousand Palestinian prisoners or hundreds of thousands of dollars in reward, is that the boy received a pair of shoes and sunglasses as his remuneration.
More challenging and interesting would have been an Israeli boy and Palestinian fighter as prisoner.
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Format: Amazon Instant Video
I just saw this film in Tijuana, Mexico. I must say it was worth the trip from Los Angeles to Tijuana just to watch this film at the Jewish Film Festival in Tijuana, Mexico. It is a very difficult topic to develop in a contemporary film. The complexity of this region makes it hard at times to believe if it happened or not but the most important, at least to me, was the human side of both sides. It was marvelous on how in the main story both characters made a connection with the soccer ball and then the olive tree. Wow, I will recommend this movie to anyone who wants to expand their horizons in films and/or if you want to scape a bit from the special efx/ senseless car chases or movies that insult our intelligence etc... And yes I am buying this film to add to my collection of films.
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