6.6/10
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6 user 39 critic

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.

Director:

Eran Riklis

Writer:

Nader Rizq
2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

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

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Israel | France

Language:

English | Arabic | Hebrew

Release Date:

20 September 2013 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In fuga con il nemico See more »

Filming Locations:

Haifa, Israel See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,100, 22 September 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$42,286, 15 November 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A painted poster is seen on wall, advertising a film, 'Dos Amigos y Un Burro', starring Sebastian Eldorado and Joaquin Pequeno. The text is in Arabic and Spanish. Both the film and actors appear to be fictitious. See more »

Goofs

In the confrontation with the Syrian soldiers, Fahed runs to the Syrian vehicle carrying only his pistol. The next time he is seen at their vehicle, he now has his backpack on with his olive tree in it. There has been neither time nor opportunity for him to have collected these from the taxi. See more »

Soundtracks

The Dancer
Written by Habib Shadah
Performed by the Habib Shehadeh Hanna Ensemble
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The central casting works against this film
21 September 2014 | by eddie_bagginsSee 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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