• 15
  • Eran Riklis (2012)
  • UK / Is / Fr
  • 105 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

With echoes of Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier on the run in The Defiant Ones, director Eran Riklis's follow-up to Lemon Tree pitches together a downed Israeli airman and a bereaved Palestinian boy as they try to escape the violence of Lebanon in the early 1980s. Newcomer Abdallah El Akal plays Fahed, who is living in a camp on the outskirts of Beirut, where the Palestinians are unwelcome guests. He sells cigarettes in the streets along which he happily kicks his football, imagining himself to be the Brazilian star Zico. The threat of violence and death seems like just another game, but then tragedy hits closer to home and changes the youngster's perspective. Stephen Dorff plays Yoni, the pilot captured by the Palestinians, who Fahed helps to escape on condition he takes him back to Palestine. However the character of Yoni never quite gels, the story seems contrived at times and the viewer is left with several uncomfortable questions at the end, partly to do with history, but also partly to do with plot. Still, El Akal delivers a winning wide-eyed performance as Fahed that more than compensates for these shortcomings.

Plot Summary

Beirut 1982: the First Lebanon War is in full force as the Israeli army clashes with PLO militants and Syrian and Lebanese forces. Living among the rubble and unexploded shells is Fahed, a young Palestinian boy who has recently lost his father in an air raid.

Cast and crew


Stephen Dorff
Abdallah El Akal
Alice Taglioni
Loai Noufi
Im Ahmed
Mira Awad


Eran Riklis

Other Information

English / Arabic / Hebrew
Theatrical distributor: 
Artificial Eye
Available on DVD
Released 21 Dec 2012
Certificate 15