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Eran Riklis (2012)

15 Certificate


Our Score
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.


Premiere. In 1982, at the height of the First Lebanon War, a Palestinian refugee living on the fringes of Beirut is killed in an Israeli air raid. The dead man's son, Fahed, is press-ganged into helping to stand guard over Yoni, a downed Israeli fighter pilot due to be handed over to the PLO. Instead, the lad decides to put aside his prejudices and enters an uneasy alliance with the enemy soldier, freeing him on the condition that he escort him back to his ancestral family home in Palestine. Wartime drama, starring Stephen Dorff and Abdallah El Akal. In English, Arabic and Hebrew.

Cast & Crew

Yoni Stephen Dorff
Fahed Abdallah El Akal
Leclair Alice Taglioni
Aboudi Loai Noufi
Im Ahmed Mira Awad
Director Eran Riklis
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Other Information

Language: English, Arabic, Hebrew +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Artificial EyeGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVDReleased on: 21 Dec 2012