I recently watched the movie Lemon Tree. The story is about an Israeli minister who moves into a home which neighbours a lemon grove owned and tended by a Palestinian widow. With the arrival of this VIP, Israeli security forces decide that the grove provides excelent cover for would be terrorists and impose all number of security measures aimed ultimatley, at uprooting the trees. The Palestinian woman decides to fight the restrictions imposed on her in court and ends up in a difficult legal battle.
In the words of the movie's director, Lemon Tree is supposed to be a story of people fighting over things that they could have easily resolved had they just spoken to one another. The movie tries to make this point throughout by showing the sincerity of the Minister's wife in trying to make some form of contact with her widowed neighbour. It also uses a somewhat clever device of a soldier in a watchtower, who can see everything as he whiles away his guard duty studying for an exam in logic.
The story is supposed to be based on a true story and there's some information about it here. It involved Shaul Mofaz, the then defense minister of Israel and an incident with his neighbours olive grove. More true, however, is the way of life, the harship for Palestinians, security fears of Israelis that are shown in the movie. Roadbloacks, terrorist attacks, and ordinary peopel trying to live seem fairly represented in the movie.
What is less overt, however, are the metaphors the movie tries to create. In the movies depiction of life for the Palestinian woman and her neighbours it is clear that one is supposed to udnerstand that Israelis live their lives in a cavelier, disconnected, unconcerned way while Palestinians live in poverty and have deeper, more meaningful relationships between eachother--relationships centered on family, community, morals, etc.--than do Israelis, where it seems that only Israeli women show such sensitivity.
The point being, this movie is ostensibly about how people talknig to one another would have solved this dispute between neigbours, but it does not reflect this and this is not necessarily the reality. This movie has clear good guys and bad guys and it is very clear that the bad guys are the Israelis, or at least Israeli men. This is what the subtext of the film seems to be. We don't meet any real Palestinian bad guys in this movie, but there are some less than savory Israeli characters.
The above are just my thoughts on the movie. I would recommend watching it and developing ones own opinion about it. It is, after all, a movie, not reporting and it does not need to be fair, or balanced, but I would question the reality it presents.
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