Exclusive: New Zaytoun Trailer

Waltz With Stephen Dorff

Out on Boxing Day and produced by Gareth 'King's Speech' Unwin, Zaytoun is a Christmas truce movie that promises to bring peace, if not to all mankind, then at least to those people who go to see it. It stars Stephen Dorff as an Israeli fighter pilot who forms a tentative bond with his captor, a young Palestinian boy played by Abdallah El Akal. Watch the film's new trailer below.


Dorff's character, Yoni, is an F-16 pilot downed over Beirut during the 1982 Lebanon War. He's captured by Palestinian militia but helped to escape by 12 year-old Fahed. The pair go on the run with the intention of smuggling Yoni back across the border.

Zaytoun is directed by Eran Riklis, an alum of the Beaconsfield National Film School and ex-Israeli Defence Force veteran who served in the Yom Kippur War. Expect plenty of moments of war-torn vérité - that minefield scene looks like it will make piano wire of our nervous systems - and a thoughtful plea for compassion and understanding with shades of Hell In The Pacific, No Man's Land and Joyeux Noël. Perfect Christmas viewing, in other words.

Zaytoun is out on December 26 in the UK. If you're anywhere near London at the time, you can catch a Q&A with Unwin and director Riklis hosted by Empire's very own Damon Wise at Curzon Renoir on December 20.