Monday, March 30, 2015

Of Lemons and Life . . .


I just finished watching the Israeli film Lemon Tree and WOW! I had to write a review before I forgot it all, although I don't think I could. Not for a very long time. This film opened my eyes to Israel and Palestine, as well as the care taking of the lemon tree, and I know I am better for it.

The story is thus: a Palestinian widow named Salma Zidane is the owner of a lemon tree grove, having taken care of the land after her father and husband have passed away. She lives a simple life with her lemons, until one day, the Israeli Defense Minister moves in next to her - his house is on the border between Israel and the West Bank. The Defense Minister, seeing the lemon grove as a potential place for Palestinian terrorists to hide, orders for the lemon grove to be cut down. However, with the help of attorney Ziad Daud, Selma fights to keep her land and her lemons safe and sacred. Even the wife of the Defense Minister, Mira, is on Selma's side as lemons take the stage for the entire world to see.

I will admit that the only information I knew about Israel and Palestine came from my watching of the news or reading newspapers and The New Yorker. However, this delicately made film helped me understand the world in a greater way. No matter where one lives, we are all connected and affected. Perhaps people will think me to be "hippie" in my thoughts, yet I feel that it is true. At times while watching the movie, I wanted to walk through Selma's lemon grove and smell the tart fruit. I wanted to ask Mira if she felt better for choosing her side in the "battle". I wanted to ask Selma if I could have one of her lemons; they looked unreal under the sun.

I highly recommend this film to everyone. Please, watch it at least once. You'll never think about lemons the same way again.

By the way, I loved the song in the beginning of the film - here is the refrain:

Lemon tree very pretty and the lemon flower is sweet but the fruit of the poor lemon is impossible to eat

(taken from the website

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