Archive Cinema City 2013.

Lemon Tree

Etz limon

Genre: Drama
Country: Germany, Israel
Year: 2008
Duration: 106 min

Director: Eran Riklis
Scenario: Suha Arraf, Eran Riklis

Cast: Hiam Abbass, Doron Tavory, Ali Suliman, Rona Lipaz-Mihael, Tarik Kopty

Programme selection: Respect to Eran Riklis

Original language: Arabic, Hebrew, English
Subtitles: English, Serbian


Salma Zidane lives in a tiny Palestinian village on the West Bank. She is 45 years old and a widow. Her children have left home, and she is alone. When the Israeli minister of defence builds a house on the other side of the green line, Selma’s lemon trees come to the attention of his bodyguards. Her trees are a security risk. They can hide terrorists and impede the bodyguards in their work. In any case, these Palestinian lemon trees simply get in the way of the powerful Minister’s superior security needs. The lemon trees were planted by Salma’s family many generations ago – they are synonymous with Salma’s family history. Salma gets herself a lawyer. But Ziad Daud is up against a battery of clever military lawyers, all of whom are covered by the top brass. It’s an unfair battle, that isn’t made any easier when the 45-year-old widow falls in love with her lawyer, a divorcee ten years her junior – a scandal as far as her Palestinian neighbours are concerned. On the other side of the grove, Salma’s struggle to keep her trees has not gone unnoticed. The defence minister’s wife, who has become more and more lonely and unhappy as her husband’s political career has blossomed, feels increasingly drawn to Salma as the unfair battle between her husband and their Palestinian neighbours drags on. An invisible bond connects these two very different women who find themselves on the brink of a new phase in their lives.


B’Yom Bahir Ro’im et Damashek (1984) • Gmar Gavi’a (1992) • Zohar (1993) • Straight Ve-La’inyan (TV series, 1993) • Sipurey Efraim (TV series, 1995) • Volcano Junction (1999) • Vegvul Natan (doc. 2002) • Ha-Masa’it (TV series, 2002) • Pituy (2002) • The Syrian Bride (2004) • Lemon Tree (2008) • Fime Men and a Wedding (TV series, 2008) • The Human Resources Manager (2010) • A Soldier and a Boy (short, 2011) • Playoff (2011) • Zaytoun (2012) • Dancing Arabs (2013)

Eran Riklis:

Born in Jerusalem (1954), raised in the USA, Canada and Brazil, Riklis graduated from The National Film School, Beaconsfield, England in 1982. Eran Riklis is one of Israel’s leading film makers. His films nclude The Syrian Bride (2004), winner of 18 international awards, released world wide, Cup Final (1991, presented in Venice and Berlin and in numerous other festivals), Zohar (1993, the biggest Israeli box-office success of the ‘90s), Temptation (2002, based on an Israeli bestseller), the nostalgic, rock & roll film Vulcan Junction (2000) and his first film On a Clear Day You Can See Damascus (1984). Riklis directed and produced many TV films, major series and documentaries, including Room Service, The Truck, Cause of Death: Murder, Me and My Family, Lucky, Lethal Money, The Poetics of the Masses, Borders and more. He also produced films such as Three Mothers, Burning Mooki, Until Tomorrow Comes and more. Married to Dina (a filmmaker too), father of Tammy (a committed journalist) and Jonathan (a jazz pianist), lives in Tel Aviv.