To welcome Hiam Abbass as a member of this year’s APSA International Jury, BAPFF is proud to present Lemon Tree, with which Hiam received numerous international awards including Best Actress at the 2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards.
“Intelligent and entertaining … marbled with irony, generosity, anger and pure crowd-pleasing optimism … magical lensing … pure cinema.” – Variety
Selma Zidane, played with understated power and grace by Hiam Abbass, is a widowed Palestinian who now lives alone on her family’s ancestral property. When the Israeli Defense Minister moves into the neighbouring property, the grove of Selma’s lemon trees comes to his attention. The risk for hiding terrorists is too great, and her precious trees are ordered to be destroyed. With the help of a young Palestinian lawyer, Selma takes her case to the Israeli Supreme Court. Despite the significant cultural and political divides, Selma’s plight raises the interest of the Defense Minister’s wife, who finds herself drawn to her mysterious neighbour.
Lemon Tree is a celebration of humanity against the backdrop of ongoing political instability.