Poster for Shelter LEMON TREE meets JOHN LE CARRÉ in a subtle thriller set in Germany involving Mona, a Lebanese woman (Golshifteh Farahani), and Naomi, an Israeli Mossad agent (Neta Riskin) sent to protect their informant while recovering from plastic surgery for her new identity. Mona and Naomi - together for two weeks in a quiet apartment in Hamburg. A safe house. A shelter. No one saw what was coming, no one knew that this supposedly quiet fortnight would turn into an abyss and that shelter would need to be found elsewhere. The intimacy of the relationship that develops between the two women is exposed to the threat of terror that is engulfing the world today. In this game of deception, beliefs are questioned and choices are made that are not their own. And yet their fate takes a surprising turn in this suspense-laden, elegant neo-noir.

93 minutes
Eran Riklis

Shown at

  1. 15th Annual JCC Rockland International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  2. 20th Annual Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival (Detroit) - 2018
  3. 21st Denver Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  4. 22nd Annual Hartford Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  5. 22nd Annual Jewish Film Festival of Dallas - 2018
  6. 22nd Denver Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  7. 23rd Annual Jewish and Israeli Film Festival (Allentown) - 2018
  8. 26th Portland Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  9. 26th Toronto Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  10. 28th Annual San Diego Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  11. 7th Annual Augusta Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  12. Athens Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  13. Atlanta Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  14. Baltimore Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  15. Barshop JCC Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  16. Berkshire Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  17. Boca Raton Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  18. Budapesti Zsidó és Izraeli Filmfesztivál - 2018
  19. Central Florida Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  20. Charlotte Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  21. Chattanooga Jewish Film Series - 2017
  22. Chattanooga Jewish Film Series - 2018
  23. Chicago Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  24. Cincinnati Jewish & Israeli Film Festival - 2019
  25. Columbia Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  26. Davie Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  27. Dayton Jewish International Film Festival - 2018
  28. Donald M. Ephraim Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  29. East Bay International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  30. Festival Internacional de Cine Judio Mexico - 2020
  31. Fresno Jewish Film Series - 2018
  32. Greater Phoenix Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  33. Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  34. Honolulu Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  35. Houston Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  36. Indianapolis Israeli Film Festival - 2018
  37. Israel Film Festival - Singapore - 2018
  38. Israel Film Festival New York - 2018
  39. Israeli Film Festival (Danbury) - 2018
  40. Israeli Film Festival at the Weinstein JCC - 2019
  41. Israeli Film Festival of Philadelphia - 2018
  42. Jewish Film Festival of Central New Jersey - 2018
  43. Jewish Film Festival of Southwest Florida - 2018
  44. JFilm Festival (Pittsburgh) - 2018
  45. Kansas City Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  46. Karen Schneider Jewish Film Festival of Flint - 2018
  47. Long Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  48. Miami Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  49. Milwaukee Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  50. Morris and Mollye Fogelman International Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  51. New Hampshire Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  52. Northern New Jersey Israel Film Festival - 2018
  53. Northern Virginia International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  54. Pioneer Valley Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  55. Randi & Bruce Pergament Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  56. Rehoboth Beach Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  57. Ring Family Wesleyan University Israel Film Festival - 2019
  58. Sacramento Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  59. Sarasota-Manatee Israel Film Festival - 2019
  60. Schenectady Jewish Film Festival - 2019
  61. Seattle Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  62. SERET the London Israeli Film & TV Festival - 2018
  63. Seret: The Amsterdam Israeli Film and Television Festival - 2018
  64. SFJFF WinterFest - 2018
  65. Silicon Valley Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  66. Sonoma County Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  67. St. Louis Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  68. The JCC of Mid-Westchester’s Israel Film Festival - 2018
  69. The National Center For Jewish Film's 21st Annual Film Festival - 2018
  70. Tucson International Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  71. UK Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  72. Vancouver Jewish Film Festival - 2017
  73. Virginia Festival of Jewish Film - 2018
  74. Washington Jewish Film Festival - 2018
  75. Wilmington Jewish Film Festival - 2018

14 Responses

  1. jewishfilmfests says:

    A Mossad agent and her Arab informant seek elusive ‘Shelter’ in new Israeli film

    Eran Riklis has enjoyed one of the most successful international careers of any Israeli director, partly because so many of his films express a tempered optimism that common ground exists between Israelis and Palestinians.

  2. jewishfilmfests says:

    It is impossible to claim the civilized world is winning the war on terrorism when Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s ruling coalition.

  3. jewishfilmfests says:

    A well-acted thriller about trust between a vulnerable Israeli agent and the Lebanese woman she is assigned to protect.

  4. jewishfilmfests says:

    A female Mossad agent bonds with a Lebanese informant in Eran Riklis’ psychological drama/thriller.

  5. jewishfilmfests says:

    Eran Riklis takes a coolly professional approach to a Mossad potboiler starring Golshifteh Farahani

  6. jewishfilmfests says:

    Shelter is fun because, like Naomi, the audience gets seduced by Mona.

  7. jewishfilmfests says:

    Shelter is competent, cohesive, and capable. At just over 90 minutes, the movie doesn’t pad itself with unnecessary scenes and moves along at a swift pace without feeling rushed.

  8. jewishfilmfests says:

    The dissipating focus and the turgidly explanatory dialogue ultimately affects the legitimately surprising twist at the end, one in keeping with espionage’s great theme — the intertwining of loyalty and betrayal — but that lacks oomph after so awkwardly uninvolving a buildup.

  9. jewishfilmfests says:

    Filmmaker Eran Riklis forces viewers to contemplate big sociopolitical questions while Shelter’s leads shed their poker faces and grapple with the highly personal, from motherhood to makeup. Such a grim story could collapse with less capable performers, but Riskin and Farahani deftly shoulder the burden as the haunted, paranoid spy and her disconsolate yet glamorous charge at the heart of this international scandal.

  10. jewishfilmfests says:

    Riklis fares better as a visual stylist. He gets the most out of his urban landscapes: the glittering lights of Beirut’s skyline, the twisting and claustrophobic stairwells in German apartment buildings. And while his script lacks subtlety, Riklis is still able to stage moments of surprising grace.

  11. jewishfilmfests says:

    This is a remarkably astute film that never simplifies a hugely complicated situation. The nuanced approach to the Middle East conflict adds extra weight to the drama, and therefore makes the suspense that much more gripping.

  12. jewishfilmfests says:

    It is possible that the women who play the leads may be better than what they have been given to work with. Unfortunately, neither rises above the material.

  13. jewishfilmfests says:

    It purports to be an espionage thriller, film noir, and tale of women adversaries bonding with homoerotic overtones—the latter thread bordering on gothic camp.

  14. jewishfilmfests says:

    “Shelter” is a psychological thriller that is neither particularly psychological nor it is thrilling, and as for action, one can say with kindness that the proceedings are subtle, but that in reality the bursts of energy are neither credible nor sweat-drenching.

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