This film, like many before it about the conflict, is guilty of the sins of distortion and concealment: the context is missing, as if it weren’t there. The film is meant to depict complexity – the misery of the collaborator; the humanity of the agent – but in reality, the film paints a picture without context, and without context there is no truth.
A more realistic film is now available which was written by a Palestinian .
The movie was billed as a harmonious effort in film making and a shining example of Palestinian-Israeli cooperation.
Hiding beneath the surface of this idealistic image is a different and far more telling story; one that mirrors everyday life in the Palestinian-Israeli dynamic, and ties directly back to the root cause of the conflict itself.
The above is from the website which was created by the film’s writer, Nader Rizq, as a vehicle to freely express his opinion on how Israeli censorship, misinformation and stereotype of Arabs influenced the film. It was sent to me via email by him.
An International Effort
The film is an international effort. From its first time Palestinian American writer who started researching the subject matter and writing the script back in 1991, to its Academy Award winning British producer, Israeli director, American producer, Danish cinematographer, French editor, International co-producing partners; to its Hollywood actor working alongside Palestinian and Israeli talent, it was a venerable United Nations of very talented and committed individuals who believed in the heart and soul of the story being told.
Definitely a MUST SEE!
From a review at the Huffington Post
Zaytoun is a film about a most improbable and remarkable friendship between Fahed, a 12-year-old Palestinian refugee, and Yoni, a 30-year-old Israeli combat pilot. The film explores a liminal space between make-believe and reality, between a boy and a man, between Arab and Israeli, all set in the chaos of 1982 Beirut just weeks before the infamous invasion of the Shatila refugee camp where 700-800 Palestinians were slaughtered by the Lebanese Christian Phalangists with the tacit support of the Israeli armed forces. This liminal space extends to the very geography of the movie’s setting which takes place in the no man’s land between Lebanon and Israel, a strange borderland where horror is so dreamlike and prosaic, where hopes for peace are so remote, and where everyday reality in a struggle for survival, control, and power.