Zaytoun (2013)



Critic Consensus: It has a lot on its mind, including a timely storyline with real-world significance; unfortunately, Zaytoun's reach exceeds its grasp, partly due to the presence of a miscast Stephen Dorff.

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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. (c) Strand Releasing
Action & Adventure , Drama
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Written By:
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Ali Suliman
as Syrian Officer
Alice Taglioni
as Leclair
Loai Noufi
as Aboudi
Tarik Kopti
as Seedo
Tarak Kopty
as Seedo
Ashraf Barhom
as PLO Fighter
Mira Awad
as Im Ahmed
Jony Arbid
as Abu Fahed
Joni Arbid
as Abu Fahed
Ashraf Farah
as Khaled
Jony Arbid
as Abu Fahed
Tarik Copty
as Seedo
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Zaytoun

Critic Reviews for Zaytoun

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (11)

We've ... got to admit right up front: Part of our interest was simply to see what Stephen Dorff is doing playing an Israeli POW.

Full Review… | October 24, 2013
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's probably best viewed as a fable that tries to strike a hopeful note amid the many woes of the Middle East, but the blunt filmmaking and the near-sentimentality make it hard to buy into.

Full Review… | October 17, 2013
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The resolution is a bit Hollywood, but then who says all films about the Middle East have to be relentlessly grim? "Zaytoun" dares to find common ground and hope amidst political confusion.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Detroit News
Top Critic

A trek that is occasionally very unlikely, but moving nonetheless.

Full Review… | October 3, 2013
Top Critic

It's just all too breezy to have any real effect.

Full Review… | September 26, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Given how much Zaytoun follows the playbook, the pic's portentous ending is extraordinarily subtle, and will resonate best with those who know the history of the region.

Full Review… | September 23, 2013
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Zaytoun


Good foreign film showing how communication and compromise can solve conflicts more than war. Takes place in the 1980s and the plot centers on an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian boy as the soldier tries to find his way out of enemy territory and the boy tries to get past the Israeli border to see his family's former home. Stephen Dorff and his counterpart deliver a believable story of the power of friendship and how it can overcome the biggest obstacles.

Jeremy Gowell
Jeremy Gowell

This is a film that touches you in your soul and stays with you, keeping you thinking and feeling. It is a film that hits on something deep within us and pulls our humanity into a situation that is mired in politics but is and should be about people. It reminds us that we are all from the same seed of life and that it is only over time we become people who can hate. This film brings us back to the relationships that we as humans have, and can have, with anyone, across borders and across the lines of war. I can't stop thinking about this movie, but more importantly, I can't stop feeling from this movie.

Max R
Max R

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