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Zaytoun (2012)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 923 users   Metascore: 39/100
Reviews: 5 user | 37 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

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

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

Storyline

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


Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 September 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le'hishaer ba'hayim  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$42,286 (USA) (15 November 2013)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Soundtracks

Zaytoun
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

 
The central casting works against this film
21 September 2014 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

It's possible for one decision to derail a movie completely, one choice by someone involved in a film that just is inherently wrong. These decisions could be something small like a musical score, costume design, cinematographer or in Eran Riklis's 2012 film Zaytoun something big like a miscast actor in the form of the seriously un-Israeli Yoni Stephen Dorff.

In a story that totally hinges on the believability and likability of its two leads, Zaytoun fails miserably. Concerning the young Palestinian boy Fahed who we are asked to root for and journey along with, actor Abdallah El Akal does a horrible job with his boy acting not the right side of enduring or not the comical side of rebel. It's a difficult feat to have a child actor take lead in a film and make it work and Riklis can't achieve the feat here. With Fahed such an unlikeable and uninteresting glue to the film all hope is rested onto Hollywood B list extraordinaire Stephen Dorff to move the picture forward but in a horrible misjudgement of casting he is doomed before a single frame was even shot with the plausibility of him pulling off being an Israeli so impossible that it's hard to even fathom why a born and breed Israeli could not of done the job and done it better. It's not that Dorff is bad perse in his acting just non-believable in his role.

With the failings of the films leads other elements of the film do not help its causes with a story that sadly can't shake the dust of mediocrity and a sense of disbelief while Riklis as a director can't add much to proceedings other than a nice opening shot and some small bursts of directional creativity. With a script overhaul, a smarter sense of direction and better cast actors you do get the sense that somewhere inside this supposed adventure/life affirming tale is a good film.

I would be confident in saying that not many have heard of this film and it's not hard to see why. With painfully few things within Zaytoun worth recommending and with a cliché story it's easy to see why this one sunk like a stone even with some advanced hype that suggested awards and box office glory. A miss-step for all involved.

1 very far from Israeli actors out of 5

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