"World Cinema: Israel"

My book, "World Cinema: Israel" (originally published in 1996) is available from Amazon on "Kindle", with an in-depth chapter comparing and analyzing internationally acclaimed Israeli films up to 2010.

Want to see some of the best films of recent years? Just scroll down to "best films" to find listings of my recommendations.


Wednesday, September 24, 2008


In her comment to what I've written about Lemon Tree, directed by Eran Riklis, Rabbi Dahlia Kronish wrote:

"I found the reference to Deuteronomy very interesting. In his translation and commentary to the book of Deuteronomy, Nahum Sarna suggests translating the verse comparing humans to fruit trees as a question: 'is the fruit tree a person that will withdraw before you in a siege?' In other words, suggests Sarna, trees are more vulnerable than people, and it is therefore our responsibility to protect them. It seems that the idea of vulnerability plays an essential role in the movie Lemon Tree. Perhaps the question here is who is more vulnerable: the tree or the people?"

This is definitely a film about vulnerability, victimization and the misuse of power. We have the trees and the women --
  • The women in the film are struggling with the power wielded against them! They are victims of the male security establishment and the chauvanistic societies around them. One of the women succeeds in exercising her determination and her strength in her battle to save the trees. The other is incapable of standing up for what she believes.

  • The trees are seen as pawns in the security game. We have read dozens of feature stories and seen films about how the Palestinians are being mistreated. It is interesting, however, that the cutting down of lemon trees and olive trees seems to strike a particular chord in our souls.

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