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74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

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7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 7 Ratings

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  • Summary: Lemon Tree is Eran Riklis' engaging human drama of one woman's struggle to preserve her way of life in the midst of political turmoil. The wonderful Hiam Abbass is Salma, a Palestinian widow who earns her living tending to her late father's lemon grove. When an Israeli government minister moves next door and declares the grove a potential security threat, Salma struggles to defend her peaceful livelihood. Personal drama gives way to political controversies as Salma forms an unexpected bond with the minister's lonely wife, and takes her protest - with the help of her young lawyer - all the way to the Israeli Supreme Court. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. A wrenching, richly layered feminist allegory as well as a geopolitical one.
  2. 80
    Something like a cross between a torn-from-the-headlines docudrama, a Middle East conflict rendered in miniature and Chekhov's "The Cherry Orchard," this latest film from the terrific Israeli director Eran Riklis revolves around the amazing lead performance of Palestinian-French actress Hiam Abbass.
  3. 78
    The most remarkable aspect of Lemon Tree, however, and the one that's most likely to land this film on many year-end Best Foreign Film lists, is Abbass' devastating and marvelously restrained performance.
  4. Reviewed by: Kate Taylor
    75
    Often refuses to adhere to the formula, sometimes offering a tantalizing ambiguity, other times aspiring to a more complex drama it cannot entirely deliver.
  5. The cast is uniformly fine, but Abbass and Lipaz-Michael shine as two women who bond in the fear that the best of their lives is over and neither of them is happy with what the future holds.
  6. Riklis has made a powerful film, but can a powerful film change anything about the fatalistic culture of powerlessness that is felt throughout Palestine and Israel? The irony of Lemon Tree is that what it achieves adds, in the end, to the sense that nothing can unravel this mess.
  7. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    50
    Promising parallels abound (not least between the two women's burdens), but the direction is stubbornly flat-footed.

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