Lemon Tree

  • PG
  • Eran Riklis (2008)
  • Is / Ger / Fr (SUB)
  • 101 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

In this poignant but unduly optimistic parable, director Eran Riklis returns to a theme from previous movies Cup Final (1991) and The Syrian Bride (2004), namely that Palestinians and Israelis have just as many similarities as differences. Palestinian widow Salma (Hiam Abbass) insists on fighting her corner after the lemon grove she inherited from her father is fenced off to increase security around her new neighbour, the Israeli defence minister (Doron Tavory). However, she struggles to get support from the male leaders of her own community when she begins romancing a maverick lawyer (Ali Suliman), and only her neighbour's neglected wife (Rona Lipaz-Michael) seems to understand her frustration in the face of such cross-cultural chauvinistic oppression. Exuding dignity and intelligence, Abbas is superb in the lead, and cameraman Rainer Klausmann's symbolic images of the sun-scorched West Bank landscape add real texture to the story. But this isn't the subtlest or deepest examination of an intractable crisis and, while Riklis strives to maintain an admirable impartiality, his direction is highly manipulative.

Plot Summary

Drama loosely based on actual events. A Palestinian widow attempts to sue the Israeli defence minister when she's cut off from her lemon grove by a security fence surrounding his West Bank home.

Cast and crew


Salma Zidane
Hiam Abbass
Mira Navon
Rona Lipaz-Michael
Ziad Daud
Ali Suliman
Defense Minister Israel Navon
Doron Tavory
Abu Hussam
Tarik Kopty
Captain Jacob
Amos Lavi
Amnon Wolf
Tamar Gera
Smadar Jaaron
Private Quickie
Danny Leshman
Sigi Navon
Hili Yalon


Eran Riklis

Other Information

Arabic, Hebrew, English +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Unanimous Films
Available on DVD
Released 12 Dec 2008
Certificate PG