Day sixty-three: Lemon Tree (May, 11)

Lemon Tree was another  movie on my "to-watch" list, and it has been there for almost 7 years now, since its premiere. As many Israeli productions about the Israeli-Palestinian separation (one of my favorite themes in Cinema, as I already said here), this one also has a lot of layers - some more obvious, others more subtle. I'd like to talk about two of them here.

In The Break-Up, a 2006 US production with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, there's a scene that is always in my memory in different circumstances. One of the biggest issues of living together for both characters is that Vaughn's always insisted in a pool table in the living room, while Aniston's used to react saying that there was no space there for such a silly request. Well, when both are separating and leaving their shared condo, she thoughtfully looks around the room and says that, in fact, it would be possible to have a pool table there. Well, why she insisted on the opposite for a long time is one of the motives the couple were not together. At that moment, what seemed a serious dispute didn't matter anymore.

This micro example can relate to the macro scenery of the separation war between Israel and Palestine, especially in  Lemon Tree's case. The unequal dispute around a lemon grove gets so much attention from both sides and different instances, it servers to so many purposes except for the one that really matters - the Palestinian Widow that tries to keep her heritages and her story intact. Why the lemon grove must go in the first place is such a power issue that its real purpose is lost in the many interests around it. And, at the end, all the losses and fights and pain are for nothing. Absolutely nothing. And that could be a summary of most of the wars and political conflicts.

Second, there are two women shackled in a man's world. From different places of the fence, with a contrasting way of life - one is wealth, another is poor; one is well dressed and educated, the other is simple, and so it goes on... -, both women are in the same unfair and inferior situation, with no support at all from the men around them. Their realization of their similitude is one of the strongest things in the movie. And one of the saddest, side by side with the realization that all the dispute and loss was for nothing at all. Of course, there are a lot of awareness about their own situation through the conflict, as usually happens in a time of crises... But all the loss? For nothing at all. as attested for the gigantic wall between both parts at the end. 

Amazing movie, that left me with a heavy heart for a long time.

Lemon Tree (Etz Limon). Directed by Eran Riklis. With: Hiam Abbass,
Rona Lipaz-Michael, Ali Suliman. Writers: Suha Arraf; Eran Riklis.
Israel/Germany/France, 2008, 106 min., Dolby Digital, Color (DVD).

PS: The cinematography in Lemon Tree is amazing, a character by itself. The details are so heartbreaking as the story. 

PPS:  I used my new hammock with this movie today :)

PPPS: Grace and Frankie season 1, episode 2: still good and more intriguing, even if a really cliche sometimes.

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