Lemon Tree Film Review

I recently watched a moving film about the Israel- Palestinian conflict. This movie is very rare find as there are not many movies on this sensitive issue. The movie is about the legal efforts of a Palestinian widow (Salma) to stop the Israeli Defense Minister, her next door neighbor, from destroying the lemon trees which she had inherited from her father. At the same time, she develops a human bond with the minister’s wife.

What set this film apart from others was the unbiased narration of the story; as the director did not take sides (despite him being Israeli himself). He did not show preference of one group in favor of the other, nor did he criticize. Rather than making a politically charged film; it focuses on PEOPLE. Lemon Tree is very much a human story- exploring universal emotions such as; loneliness, isolation, love and hurt. 

The director stresses in the film, that whether you’re Palestinian, Israeli or Afghan- in the end we are all human beings. He particularly shows this through the two women (Salma and the minister’s wife) who form an unspoken bond (as although they do not engage in dialogue, the scenes between them are particularly powerful). Both women form a bond through womanhood and come to empathise with each other.

Beware if you’re looking for a feel good movie this is not it! The movie does not have your typical Hollywood happy ending but leaves you with a sense of sadness but don’t let this deter you, as the film is well made, the actors are superb (in particular Hiam Abbass who plays, Salma), overall it is worth watching 4 stars out of 5.

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