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Zaytoun (2012)

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Beirut, 1982: a young Palestinian refugee helps an Israeli fighter pilot escape from PLO captivity because he wants to visit his ancestral family home. En route through war-torn Lebanon their relationship develops into a close bond.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Fahed (Ziko)
Loai Nofi ...
Aboudi (as Loai Noufi)
Seedo (as Tarik Copti)
Johnny Arbid ...
Abu Fahed (as Joni Arbid)
Mira Awad ...
Im Ahmed
Eitan Londner ...
Morad Hassan ...
Rami (as Morad Hasan)
Ashraf Farah ...
Nidal Badarneh ...
Mustafa (as Nidal Badarni)
Adham Abu Aqel ...
Osamah Khoury ...
Michel Khoury ...
Ali (as Michil Khoury)
Syrian Officer


Beirut, 1982: a young Palestinian refugee helps an Israeli fighter pilot escape from PLO captivity because he wants to visit his ancestral family home. En route through war-torn Lebanon their relationship develops into a close bond.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »



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Release Date:

20 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le'hishaer ba'hayim  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$4,100 (USA) (20 September 2013)


$42,286 (USA) (15 November 2013)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


While not explicitly stated in the film, the word "zaytoun" is Arabic for "olive", and refers to the tree that Fahed carries. See more »


Written and arranged by Peter Liddle
Performed by Dry the River
Courtesy of Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd/RCA Victor
Published by Transgressive Publishing Ltd. administered by Warner/Chappell Limited
See more »

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User Reviews

Common goals can make even worst enemies best friends
4 May 2013 | by (Copenhagen, Denmark) – See all my reviews

This story takes place in 1982, and is about the young boy, Fahed (Abdallah El Akal), whose family has suffered a lot because of the war in Beirut. One day, an Israeli fighter pilot, Yoni (Stephen Dorff), is captured by the local forces, and Fahed sees and opportunity to free the pilot, so he can take him back to his former home, where his father wanted to plant the family's olive-tree, but never had the chance to do so, because of the war.

At first, the two are mortal enemies, only working together because they need each other to reach their individual goals: Fahed wants to return back to his old family home, and Yoni wants to escape from prison, where he is bound to be tortured and interrogated, before he is used politically to exchange prisoners from the Israelis.

But along the way, the two form a tight friendship, where they both save each others lives on numerous occasions, until they (hopefully) reach their goals. It just goes to show, that even during the worst situations, friendships can arise when you are able to look past ones differences, and instead focus on common interests and dreams.

This is the newest movie from director Eran Riklis (Etz Limon, The Syrian Bride), and he still manages to make very interesting movies on highly debated subjects about the situation in Israel and the middle east in general. The acting from the leading actors is very impressive as well, especially from the young El Akal, who should have a long career ahead of him. It is also a quite interesting turn from the otherwise rather mainstream actor, Stephen Dorff, who most people probably know best from action-films like "Blade", "Public Enemies" and "Felon".

A highly recommended film, which also can be used for educational purposes. 8/10.

23 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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