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Posts tagged ‘Israel’

Can a lemon ever just be a lemon?

In her last post, Kuhu talked about how she noticed the way some Israeli films she saw “[told] small, personal stories that were carefully imbricated in a culture of pervasive political strife.” Sometimes I wonder if Israeli films that are made (in part) for global consumption inevitably contain this dynamic in that it seems that any narrative film which depicts individuals associated with a particular national identity are always experienced as allegories. That is, an Israeli in a political film is always standing in for all Israelis and the larger political situation. In this way, the multifunctional roles of the characters in a film like Lemon Tree—as both metaphors of power relations and sincere figures within the diegetic narrative—always contain a central tension between the individual as a unique entity and the individual as a manifestation and representation of the larger political forces which he or she symbolizes. Read more

Fiver Years Hence: Watching and Rewatching Eran Riklis’s “Lemon Tree”

Eran Riklis’s 2008 film Etz Lemon (Lemon Tree) seemed to me, at first, a fairly tangential fit into Cinematheque’s Food and Feast series, but as I went back to an interview with Riklis, I noticed his insistent attachment to the metaphor of the lemons to tell his story, and it seemed to be an entry-point to watch an overtly political film in a food and feast series. I first watched Lemon Tree at a film festival in New Delhi in 2008. The festival had a section dedicated to films from Israel and Palestine, and was showing films like Ari Folman’s Waltz With Bashir and Eran Kolirin’s hilarious comedy The Band’s Visit, among others. I was struck by the fact that a majority of Israeli films were deeply critical of Israel’s occupation of Palestine and had found evocative ways of telling small, personal stories that were carefully imbricated in a culture of pervasive political strife. Read more