Written by Nader Rizq and directed by Evan Riklis, “Zaytoun” is rooted in the never-ending conflict between
Israel and Palestine.
It is set in
1982 at the fall of Beirut.
American actor Stephen Dorff (“ ”)
plays Yoni, an Israeli pilot shot down and held in a PLO prison camp. World
Abdallah El Akai is Fahed, a Palestinian boy who wants to visit his ancestral home on the
When Fahed gives some water to Yoni out of pity, he says, “Let me out, and I’ll take you with me.”
When Yoni seizes the prison cell keys, Fahed shoots him. Yoni nevertheless overpowers the boy, who Cleverly swallows the key to Yoni’s handcuffs, binding the man and boy in an uncomfortable relationship as Yoni tries to make his way back to
and to Fahed’s homeland.
“Zaytoun” is one harrowing escape after the other as man and boy make their way across the desert, eluding soldiers, police, land mines, all the while Fahed lugging a small tree which he hopes to plant in his homeland.
The tree symbolizes a fragile hope for future peace between Muslims and Jews. “Zaytoun’ drives home the point it will not be easy.