Coming to theatres from director Eran Riklis and Pathetic is the story of a relationship most uncommon with ZAYTOUN.

This film tells the story of Fahed (Abdallah El Akal), a young Palestinian boy living in Beirut in 1982. Living life the best he can with school and training, he wants more for his life and now that life is about to change.

An Israeli jet crashes and the pilot Yoni (Stephen Dorff) is captured. Fahed watches as men from his village beat the pilot for refusing to answer their questions. Then, in a matter of days, Fahed loses his father and best friend.

Knowing there is only one thing to make it all right, Fahed wants to take the tree of his father to Israel. Getting there requires taking Yoni with him. What starts out as two enemies suffering one another – can end as two human beings understanding one another.

Now, they travel together with danger around every turn trusting one another in a place where trust is hard to come by.

FINAL WORD: Dorff as Yoni is a straightforward Israeli whose only goal is to get home to his wife who is expecting. Being the strong soldier is difficult but even the character of Yoni knows life on the ground is more intense than in the air. Being a big fan of Dorff and enjoy the evil he can bring to characters this is a total change that shows a side of his abilities that brings heart and pure soul – that is what got my attention most!

Akal as Fahed is an amazing young actor. His performance here is gritty, emotional, stubborn and yet trusting when it comes to his family’s legacy. Don’t let this fresh face fool you as Akal has been on film since 2006. He has already won a Best Lead Actor award for his role in DAVID & KAMAL at the Romanian 2012 Brasov International Film Festival. I expect we will see him again.

Other cast include: Alice Taglioni as Leclair, Loai Nofi as Aboudi, Tarik Kopty as Seedo, Mira Awad as Im Ahmed, Jony Arbid as Abu Fahed, Ashraf Farah as Kahled, Adham Abu Aqel as Ahmed, Nidal Badarneh as Mustafa, Hezi Gangina as Casanova and Morad Hassan as Rami,

TUBS OF POPCORN: I give ZAYTOUN four tubs of popcorn out of five. What an extraordinary story from beginning to end. The relationships of Yoni and Fahed starts with such a strain based on a conflict that came before either of them was born. The mistrust and misgivings are so poignantly painful.

This is a story filled with that of course, but also a celebration of friendship based on learning the life story each of us share. There is a history and culture that is not far based from one another and these two characters learns that love, faithfulness and belief in something greater is the starting point to understanding.

In the end – friendships can form in the most unexpected places.



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Jeri Jacquin

Jeri Jacquin covers film, television, DVD/Bluray releases, celebrity interviews, festivals and all things entertainment.

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