Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Upcoming Films on Israel/Palestine for the Cleveland Film Festival

Lemon Tree (ISRAEL)
Foreign Title: Shajarat limon/Etz halimon

Director(s): Eran Riklis Runtime: 106 minutes

Palestinian actress Hiam Abbass shines in this tale that puts a human face on Israeli-Palestinian politics. Salma, a Palestinian widow who has been peacefully tending her lemon trees for years, suddenly risks losing them when a new neighbor moves in next door. It seems her trees are located on the green-line border between Israel and the West Bank, and her new neighbor is the Israeli minister of defense, who feels nervous at the thought of potential security hazards lurking in the groves. As she faces eviction and the removal of her beloved trees, Salma becomes outraged, challenging the security order in court. With the help of an unlikely ally in the minister’s wife, she takes her fight all the way to the High Court of Justice. Eras Riklis, whose 2004 film "The Syrian Bride" was an equally nuanced international hit, says of his film, “I think people want to go beyond the news headlines and see into the psyche of the people… We tried to make a film showing the point of view from the humans on both sides.” LEMON TREE is an optimistic film about justice and passion. (In Arabic, Hebrew and English with subtitles) – B.B.

Category Greg Gund Memorial Standing Up Film Competition, JCC Jewish and Israeli Visions, Women Of The World
Producer Eran Riklis
Screenplay Suha Arraf, Eran Riklis
Cinematography Rainer Klausmann
Editing Tova Asher
Music Habib Shadah
Principal Cast Hiam Abbass, Doron Tavory, Ali Suliman, Rona Lipaz-Michael, Tarik Kopty, Amos Lavi, Amnon Wolf, Smadar Jaaron, Danny Leshman, Hili Yalon
Director Bio Eran Riklis was born in Jerusalem, and grew up in Canada, the USA, and Brazil. After graduating from Beaconsfield National Film School in England, he made his first film in 1984. He has directed shorts, commercials, and TV series. He lives in Tel Aviv but regards himself as a world director.
Select Filmography "On a Clear Day You Can See Damascus" (1984), "Cup Final" (1991), "Zohar" (1993), "Borders" (1999), "Volcano Junction" (1999), "Temptation" (2002), "The Syrian Bride" (2004), LEMON TREE (2008)
Print Source IFC Films

Ticket Information
Sunday, March 29 at 4:35 pm - LEMN29

Strangers (ISRAEL)
Foreign Title: Zarim

Director(s): Erez Tadmor, Guy Nattiv Runtime: 85 minutes

Do you believe in fate? Eyal and Rana were never supposed to have met. While visiting in Berlin, the two STRANGERS get their identical bags switched by mistake. This accident causes them to get to know each other and spend the rest of their vacation together. They become infatuated with one another and fall in love. Sounds perfect, right? Wrong. Eyal is Israeli, Rana is Palestinian living in Paris, and the Israel-Lebanon war is getting worse every day. As they learn to deal with their different backgrounds, Rana gets a call regarding a family emergency, forcing her to leave Berlin early and return home to Paris. Before she leaves, she tells Eyal not to contact her in any way. Ignoring her request, Eyal goes to France to find his true love. It is here that he comes to Rana’s rescue in a desperate time of need. In the end, he must make a choice that will affect both of their futures. Can these two star-crossed lovers fight off the rest of the world in order to be together? (In French, Hebrew, and Arabic with English subtitles)—L.W.

Category Continental Airlines World Tour, JCC Jewish and Israeli Visions
Producer Chilik Michaeli, Tami Leon, Avraham Pirchi
Screenplay Erez Tadmor, Guy Nattiv
Cinematography Ram Shweky
Editing Yuval Orr
Music Eyal Katzav
Principal Cast Liron Levo, Lubna Azabal, Anja Naomi Decke, Dominique Lollia, Patrick Albenque, Abdallah El Akal, Clemence Thioly, Stephane Pouillot, Mila Dekker
Director Bio Erez Tadmor graduated from the Department of Film and Television at the Camera Obscura of Art in Tel Aviv in 1999. Guy Nattiv graduated from the same school as Tadmor in 2000. He has made several commercials for international companies.
Select Filmography Erez Tadmor: “All is Well by Me” (2005), STRANGERS (2008); Guy Nattiv: STRANGERS (2008)
Print Source IFC Films

Ticket Information
Tuesday, March 24 at 4:30 pm
Wednesday, March 25 at 9:45 pm

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