Film Viewing Assignment
The film that I watched is called “The Lemon Tree” directed by Eran Riklis. The actors spoke in both Arabic and Hebrew, as its plot involved both Palestinians and Israelis. The film took place in the West Bank, Palestine. A middle-aged Palestinian widow named Salma Zidane lives on a property that belongs to her great grandparents. On this property is a field of lemon trees planted by her grandparents themselves when they were alive. This field provides her with a steady source of income and, I believe, a hidden sense of pride. In the film, she gets new neighbors living right across from her. They live exactly on the green line border between Israel and the West Bank. To her disadvantage, her new neighbor is the Israeli Defense Minister and his family. Not to my surprise however, the Defense Minister declares Salma’s field of trees as a threat to the Minister’s safety and quickly tries to initiate an order to uproot them. So, in turn, Salma tries to fight this order. She calls upon Ziad Daud, a young lawyer, to help her save her trees.
What greatly interested me, however, was the invisible bond that had developed between Salma and the Minister’s wife, Mira Navon. This woman was portrayed as unhappy with her life in her new house and feels bad for Salma and her situation. They come from two separate worlds, yet they share similar feelings as individuals, rather than as Palestinians and Israelis. This was something I had hoped all viewers would notice and take into regard. Most of the time, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is never viewed as neutral. Both peoples are criticized, and in my belief, the Palestinians are targeted more harshly than the Israelis. Yet my point is that it is refreshing to see representatives from both parties seen as individuals who struggle with everyday problems, rather than entire minorities battling this ongoing situation.
For the most part, this film did a great job of capturing life in Palestine and...
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