Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
Shooting on location in East Jerusalem, Ramallah and at checkpoints in-between, Palestinian director Hany Abu-Assad (FORD TRANSIT) sees the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the eyes of a young woman who, with only ten ... more »
Palestine and Palestinians
F. Wahbeh | Nooneneedstoknow | 08/06/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I would like to respond to Brian Grossman's analysis of _Rana's Wedding_. But before doing so, I would like to say that the film in question is, as Phil Hall suggests, a "subtle gem."
It is a gem, I agree. At the same time, however, I would suggest the reader to view _Ford Transit_ by Abu-Assad as well to get a deeper understanding of his filmmaking, if not the Palestinian situation.
But let this not deter the reader from thinking every Palestinian is either upper-class or a "starving refugee," as Grossman says in his review. Rather, the film, as an aesthetic document of Palestinian culture and society, cuts at the heart of conflicts within the Palestinian community itself-a community that is by no means unified.
Whether it being religion, politics, or class, Palestinian society is fragmented. The media likes to pigeon-hole identity, and in the case of the Palestinian identity it is either as terrorist or refugee. The "subtle gem" that is _Rana's Wedding_ lies in the fact that it does not cater to norms predicated by the media. Rather, it films a section of Palestinian society that is not readily available for public viewing.
Be that as it may, it does have its problems as well. Problems inherent to Palestinian society which are too extensive and complex to get into on an Amazon.com review of the film.
At this point I'll stop, in hopes that the reader will be anxious, after reading this litany of words, to view the film."
The hectic ordeal of a wedding
Jamal M. Najjab | Washington, DC | 07/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"PREPARING FOR A wedding is a hectic ordeal anywhere in the world. In the film "Rana's Wedding," however, the bride's situation is even more complicated than most. She awakes from her bed in East Jerusalem with an ultimatum from her father to either marry one of the up-and-coming eligible bachelors who have asked for her hand from a list he has given her, or accompanying him to Egypt--and he wants her decision by four that afternoon. But Rana has other ideas. She sets out to find her true love, Khalil, a struggling theater company director in near-by Ramallah, persuade him to propose, find the registrar, have her father accept her beloved and then marry--all by the 4 p.m. deadline. Because her life is constrained at every turn by the Israeli military occupation, Rana's task is a journey of epic proportion.
Palestinian novelist Liana Badr wrote the screenplay, along with Ihab Lamey, based on her own trials and tribulations in order to marry the Palestinian politician Yasser Abd Rabbih. The film's Palestinian director, Hany Abu-Assad, whose later "Paradise Now" was nominated for an Academy Award for best foreign film, carefully shows us the daily life of those living under occupation. As they watch a Palestinian home being demolished by an Israeli bulldozer, Rana tells a friend, "They are destroying homes as I am trying to build one."
Through it all Rana (played with quiet resolve by Palestinian Clara Khoury) is determined to succeed. Even though at times she is disappointed and despairing, Rana presses on--not unlike the people of Palestine.
Overcoming All Odds to Marry the Man She Loves ...
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 11/06/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Without taking a political stand for either the Israeli or Palestinian side, the Director shows how one very determined young lady named Rana overcame enormous obstacles in order to be married to the young man *she* chose and loved rather than one her father selected and would have preferred for her. The reality of living under "occupation" becomes very clear from the beginning of the film. There are cameras located throughout Western Jerusalem and the Palestinian town of Ramallah to catch insurgency on film and ensure a quick response. Israeli soldiers are shown at checkpoints which often create traffic jams, making it difficult for residents to conduct their lives in a normal manner. Soldiers with weapons walk in groups within the city ... on guard ready for any eventuality.
Rana is a Palestinian young lady of the Islamic faith who has fallen in love with Khalil a theater director. Her father recognizes she desires to marry and provided her a list of eligible bachelors from good families who made inquiries about her marriage prospects ... Her father decided to take her to Egypt on a business trip by 4:00PM that day if she does not select one of the eligible bachelors from the list. Rana is determined to meet with Khalil and be married before 4PM so she does not have to travel to Egypt under her watchful father's eye ... The only problem is ... she is having difficulty locating him. She learns he was going to visit Western Jerusalem but due to Israeli road blocks he did could not make it to the city. The clock is ticking away fast and she must locate him. A female cousin, aware of her marriage plans, had found her a wedding dress and matching shoes. Rana goes against all odds to find Khalil to expedite her marriage plans (of which he is blissfully unaware). She travels via local bus transportation to get to Ramallah to seek him out. She dodges a fight between Palestinian children and Israeli soldiers. The childen are throwing rocks and manage to ignite a fire near the soldiers who shoot live bullets at the rock throwers. She made it to the theater in Ramallah where Khalil had slept overnight due to the political frays happening nearby. Rana explains her plight, the need to marry or she will be taken to Egypt by her father. Khalil agrees to the marriage but prefers they marry with her father's blessing. They can marry without but in either case, they must have the official paperwork from the local magistrate. To obtain the papers, they travel over meandering dirt roads to avoid fighting which had escalated. They reach the magistrate's office only to discover a long line of people - all of whom need offial approval for important matters, one young man seeks a permit to bury his brother before sundown on that day.
The conclusion of the film is highly climactic, after Rana gets her hair done and is dressed in her wedding attire while her relatives await celebration, the magistrate has still not yet arrived. Her father is anxious and wants to drive to the airport but the couple persuade him instead to go to the magistrate's office where the marriage ceremony can be performed. While they do not make it to the office, amazingly they do meet up with the magistrate, at an Israeli checkpoint. The viewer will be satisified to learn, this couple manages to get married. It will be a surprise ending to discover where the marriage ceremony occurs and where the marriage celebration and dance takes place. Overall, this is a very unique film which provides great insights into the many obstacles people must overcome to live their daily lives in this part of the world. Erika Borsos [pepper flower]"
Back road travelogue . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 10/02/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"For a young Palestinian woman in Jerusalem, getting married requires taking some back roads and back streets, given the checkpoints that block passage of traffic almost everywhere. Viewers of this film get the experience of life lived under a state of occupation and political tensions. Adding to the drama is the deadline imposed by the young woman's father, who is leaving for Egypt at 4pm and has given her the choice of going with him or marrying a man of his choosing. The third option - her own - is marriage to a man she really loves, and she has 12 hours to find him and get the agreement of her reluctant father.
As we follow her, we see Jerusalem as it is for those who live there, trying to just get done the things that daily life requires. The film's attitude toward the government and the military who prevent that from happening easily is evident at almost every turn, ranging from the bride-to-be's annoyance to pangs of fear as she watches a house being destroyed and a family displaced by security forces. At another time, she comes upon a funeral cortege. But the film is determined to end happily, no matter what, and viewers are left with a picture of a world that is often missed by the cameras of the news networks."