Zaytoun

  • 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.

Cast and crew

Cast

Yoni
Stephen Dorff
Fahed
Abdallah El Akal
Leclair
Alice Taglioni
Aboudi
Loai Noufi
Im Ahmed
Mira Awad

Crew

Director
Eran Riklis

Other Information

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

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