Beirut in 1982 is a dangerous place for anyone, especially a young Palestinian refugee like Fahed. He skips school to sell gum and cigarettes on the city's streets, defying his father's wishes and annoying Lebanese rivals who attempt to drive Fahed and his friends back to their camp. Making matters worse, Lebanon is in the midst of a savage civil war between its numerous political and religious factions and on the verge of being invaded by its southern neighbor, Israel, which is determined to stop PLO rocket attacks coming over the border. Fahed's life takes a tragic turn when his father is killed in a bombing raid and an Israeli Air Force pilot, forced to eject from his F-16, parachutes out of the sky and is captured. Having listened to stories all his life about the supposedly idyllic village his grandfather called home when Israel was still Palestine, Fahed is overtaken by a powerful urge to return to the land of his ancestors and plant the olive tree his father had been nurturing. That requires making a perilous decision: to free the captive Israeli pilot, Yoni. In return, Yoni must agree to take Fahed to Israel. As a guarantee, the boy swallows the key to the handcuffs he leaves on Yoni, who has little choice but to go along with Fahed's plan.


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