The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Lemon Tree

Film illustrates the role empathy can play in bringing people together

Lemon Tree is a poignant drama directed by Eran Riklis that illustrates the important role empathy can play in bringing divided people together.

In the Lemon Tree, Hiam Abbass plays
In Lemon Tree , Hiam Abbass plays Salma, a Palestinian widow who finds allies in her battle to save her lemon grove.

Salma is a Palestinian widow who lives by the border between Israel and the West Bank. She has inherited a lemon grove planted by her father 50 years ago. She tends the trees with love and care.

But her life is turned upside down when the Israeli defense minister moves into a new house nearby with his wife, Mira. Security forces decide her lemon trees must be uprooted since terrorists might hide in them and threaten the minister's safety.

Salma challenges the decision in Israeli courts. She hires a young Palestinian lawyer and in him finds a champion. Then another surprising ally comes to support her.

This person becomes a bridge-builder and shows us one of the morally elegant ways to bring about change in a milieu drenched with mistrust, anger and hatred (IFC independent film, not rated).


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