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Blog by Don Kennedy

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Lemon Tree

Lemon Tree very pretty to quote Trini Lopez, and further the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat – especially if the Israeli National Security team says so. A West Bank lemon orchard that has for generations been the source of income for one Palestinian family is currently run by a widow Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass such a sympathetic, stoic beauty in The Visitor and once again here) who has the misfortune of having the new Israeli Defence Minister take up residence next door. When the National Security goons decide that the lemon grove is a perfect cover for a terrorist’s attack they fence it off and close it down. Even though compensation is offered that strikes a sour note with Salma who proceeds with a valiant legal fight that goes all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court and becomes a political scandal along the way. Similar to the Hollywood backlash to WMD’s and the last 8 years of Republican rule, this is yet another cinematic event from Israel that is sympathetic to persecuted Palestinians. Like the Americans, Israeli film makers make lemonade when they get lemons.