Lemon Tree + SHORT
| 2008 | 106 min
| Ivriet/Arabic/English | English subtitles
Saturday 17 March
Salma Zidane is a 45-year-old Palestinian woman who lives in a small village on the Green Line between Israel and the West Bank. Her old lemon grove is the great love of her life. But when her new neighbor turns out to be the Israeli minister of defense, she is informed that her grove must be uprooted ‘for safety purposes’. Salma won’t even consider it, and fights vehemently for her trees.
At last year’s Food Film Festival, it was already revealed how significant the lemon groves are to arguing neighbours on Israeli and Palestinian territories in the documentary Jaffa: the Orange’s Clockwork
. This film was laden with the ideological significance of the Jaffa orange. To Israelis the orange symbolises the Zionist ideal and the state of Israel, whereas to the Palestinians it symbolises destruction and the loss of their homeland.
In Lemon Tree too does the growing of rich fruits symbolise hope and humaneness. Life in the conservative Palestinian community is quite hard on the widowed Salma. Her children have left and now her only joy in life is the lemon trees that were planted by her father and the fruit they produce. When the trees are threatened to be taken away from her, she decides to make a case against her Israeli neighbor for unlawfully destructing her property. A Palestinian widow versus Israel’s defense minister. David versus Goliath.
From the other side of the garden fence, the minister’s wife Mira Navon witnesses the absurd increase of security madness. After years and years of supporting not only the state of Israel but also her husband’s career, she also decides to fight for her beliefs. The two women form a virtual bond.
is about fighting for your rights and about proving your point. It is about a farmer being emotionally attached to her land, about humaneness and about the history of a land that has been fought over since time immemorial. Everything is symbolically depicted by Salma’s ever-growing lemons.
The lemon is omnipresent in Arabic cuisine. Would you like to learn Arabic cooking? Attend the workshop Arabische Lente (Arabic Spring) by Merijn Tol and Nadia Zerouali.
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