The Lemon Tree provides viewers with an excellent portrayal of life’s struggles as a Palestinian woman being oppressed due to an ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The main character, Salma Zidane struggles from tough economic hardships ever since she has become widowed for ten years and her two daughters are married and her son moved to the United States. While she is alone Salma earns her only small form of salary from a lemon grove that her family has occupied for fifty years. However, one of the ironic issues surrounding this lemon grove is that it is located on a line separating Israel from the occupied territories of the West Bank.
The Israeli defense minister, Isreal Navon moves into a large house right next to Salma’s lemon grove and immediately initiates a conflict between his elegant home and the orchard. Salma received an official letter notifying her that her grove posses a security threat due to terrorists hiding in the trees and it is a necessity of the military to have the grove diminished. As her grove is fenced in and her precious lemons are dying by the day she begins to take action and argues her case before a military tribunal. The tribunal agrees with the Israeli defense minister and says that the grove is in fact off limits forcing her to have no choice but to argue her case before the Israeli Supreme Court.
The extremely interesting aspect of this movie is the fact that the Israeli defense minister’s wife Mira, portrays signs of sorrow and remorse for Salma and attempts to go against her own husband in the defense of Salma’s grove. It is very touching and heartwarming when Mira and Salma begin to form an affectionate human bond between each other all through the fence that has cut of Salma from access to her grove.
Mira shares Salma’s sense of personal loneliness because she does not have a healthy relationship with her husband Israel. It is also extremely motivating in the sense that Salma does not give up what she truly believes is right even when advised to do so. She is so determined in following up in what she believes that she seeks out a younger lawyer who takes her case all the way up into the Supreme Court, which is an extremely difficult task to complete in any civilized nation. Surprisingly the Supreme Court case results in a great deal of media attention. This type of attention is exactly what Salma and her lawyer were
It is extremely heart warming to witness Mira go before the media on a news interview and state that the Israeli military is overreacting. The fact that Mira would go against her powerful, respected husband on national television just to support and help her acquaintance that she knows strictly through the communication between a fence. However it seems as if this movie does not majorly focus on many issues of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It seems to focus on the relationship between characters, particularly Mira and Salma. It proves that although there are obstacles that hold one back from creating a long lasting, strong relationship, one can overcome these obstacles and live a happy life together as friends. Overall this movie generated a great deal of insight from Palestinian women under the oppression of higher powers that are usually uncontrollable. Although she did not get her lemon grove back it still teaches its audience to never give up and you might meet some friends along the way.
Courtney from Study Moose
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