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critics consensus

A positive and personal Israeli film that offers an understated and thought-provoking vision of the West Bank troubles. Read critic reviews

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Lemon Tree Photos

Movie Info

Set in the West Bank, where Palestinian widow Salma Zidane tends her lemon grove. However, when Israeli Defense Minister Navon moves in across the way, his security guards demand she removes the trees, which could shelter terrorists. Refusing to bow down, she engages lawyer Ziad Daud to take her case to the Supreme Court, which brings international attention.

Cast & Crew

Hiam Abbass
Salma Zidane
Doron Tavory
Defense Minister Israel Navon
Tarik Kopty
Abu Hassam
Amos Lavi
Commander Jacob
Amnon Wolf
Leibowitz
Danny Leshman
Private Itamar aka Quickie
Hili Yalon
Sigi Navon
Leon Edery
Executive Producer
Moshe Edery
Executive Producer
David Silber
Executive Producer
Habib Shadah
Original Music
Rainer Klausmann
Cinematographer
Tova Asher
Film Editor
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News & Interviews for Lemon Tree

Critic Reviews for Lemon Tree

All Critics (68) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (6)

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    November 18, 2011 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Eran Riklis, who directed and co-wrote with Suha Arraf (they also collaborated on The Syrian Bride), has made a compelling movie that takes its strength from the ground-level picture it gives of the human aspect of the problems in that part of the world.

    August 23, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The two Israelis who take her side are female, which underscores the film's message: a little less machismo might save a lot more than trees.

    June 12, 2009 | Full Review…
  • The pungence of Lemon Tree is in the surreal moments that capture the pervasive unease in Gaza, and in the quiet strength of Abbass' performance.

    June 4, 2009 | Rating: 3/4
  • This is a film about a problem, not a solution, and it's effectively upsetting.

    May 15, 2009 | Rating: B | Full Review…
  • The story, based on a real incident, may be simplistic, but that's the nature of fables. The direction is sure-handed, and the acting is good, particularly by the very appealing Abbass.

    May 8, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Lemon Tree

  • Jul 29, 2010
    A great movie that shows that the government can come in & take over your property whenever they want & theres NOTHING you can do about it.It can happen here, there or anywhere
    Brody M Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2010
    a drama which flows well and doesnt take sides. considering i saw this late at night and hardly ever finish a late night movie... well, this one kept me awake!
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Oct 02, 2009
    A most infuriating film, pitting a Palestinian widow against the security forces of the Israeli defense minister whose family has moved in next door. Not only does the widow, Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass), have to contend with Israeli bureaucracy and the Israeli justice system that is arrayed against her, but she must also defend her honor with her Palestinian neighbors, who do nothing to lift a finger to help her in her struggle. The bone of contention is the lemon grove which lies between the adjacent properties and is judged to be a potential haven for terrorists. That the grove is the legacy which Salma received from her father, has stood for over fifty years and provides her sole source of income, the wheels of justice slowly grind her down. She is aided in her fight by an idealistic young lawyer, Ziad Daud (Ali Suliman). The defense minister's wife, played by Romna Lipaz-Michael, is Salma's silent ally, but she, too, is powerless to offer any real aid. The cast is superb, and the script sparse, but together they clearly convey the frustration and futility experienced by the Palestinian people. The final scene leaves one feeling hollow. A terrific look from another perspective at the human tragedy of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2009
    A story of pride and principal. A Palestinian woman's lemons come into harms way when an Israeli politician moves in next door. It's almost like one of those stories where neighbors go mental at the size of each others trees. The only difference being, here there are far more complex and interesting political issues at hand. The film is a moving testament to those that cannot be bought. The parallel story of the wife of the politician, sympathetic to the cause of the Palestinian woman is also a nice companion story that adds to the main narrative. The film does tend to trip over itself when it comes to the politics. It is far too concerned with portraying any character, against the protagonist, in a villainous light. The defense minister comes off as callous and careless while his secret service just seem incompetently paranoid. All this is at the expense of a sweet love story blossoming between the woman and her newly appointed lawyer.
    Luke B Super Reviewer

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