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Rana's Wedding More at IMDbPro »Al qods fee yom akhar (original title)

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23 out of 29 people found the following review useful:

Daily Life Goes On Under Foreign Occupation

10/10
Author: nbott from Washington DC
19 September 2003

I will long remember the acting of Clara Khoury in the main role in this film. I do not know if she is a professional actress or not, but she could be. She acts beautifully with her eyes and facial expressions. Many of the greatest films in history especially by French and Italian filmmakers have used non-professional actors in their films. The film is especially valuable in showing the fact that normal everyday life can go on even under foreign occupation.

I admit to bias in favor of the Palestinians in their quest for freedom from Israeli occupation, but I actually thought this film was deeply moving as pure drama. The visual sweep of the film, the music and the deeply moving poetic fragment at the end were almost overwhelming.

I certainly hope that Kino Video or some such distributor of quality foreign films will pick this up for distribution, although I suspect certain influential political action committees might object.

Highly Recommended.

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15 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

well filmed, point made

9/10
Author: ShimmySnail from Albuquerque, USA
25 March 2004

I just saw this, and I gave it a 9.

The filming and pace were extremely well done. The story isn't so much suspenseful as stressful, which is a reflection of what the characters are going through. You're unsure you'll be allowed in, you're stuck in line, you can't get in touch, you're being watched, and you have a wedding to attend, a life to live. Palestinians have their friends, and their hopes, and that's it, and this film conveys that very well.

The acting is good, everyone is on the same level, the characters are good under the scrutiny of a camera which takes long stares. The story is not contrived like many may-not-happen wedding films, it continues to move along. There is some humor, but it's the kind of humor you see in everyday life, it's not a comedy.

It's filmed on location Jerusalem and Ramallah, and we see all the elements of everyday life that come over to the US on the news: somber funerals, stones against assault rifles, houses being demolished, cops with itchy trigger fingers, endless lines at military checkpoints, a little poverty, lots of filth, but in a nicely done way, the film isn't very heavy handed about it, it shows it there and moves on, not focusing on the misery, and the atmosphere comes through the characters and their emotions. Rana is upset, even with her fiancee, and you see why someone can be so upset on what she hopes to be the happiest day of her life.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Choosing your destiny

10/10
Author: Chelsea xx from Adelaide, Australia
1 January 2007

I found this film to be very artistically portrayed. With an increased sense of symbolisms (such as Rana's breakdown in the car, and her plastic bag that she carries everywhere with her), words were not necessary to tell the mood or the meaning of the scene. One of my favorite Arabic movies so far with a fantastic soundtrack. Clara Khoury was a brilliant actress with her sullen mood and meaningful thoughts through the film. In summary, her fathers ultimatum, which gives shape to the whole movie shows the cultural overtones in a traditional Palestinian world. Rana must choose for herself what she wants in life, with or without her fathers blessing. I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and I would rate it a 10/10

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8 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

The hardships of life in occupied Palestine

10/10
Author: carl_kenner from Australia
3 March 2005

This movie starts out a bit artsy, which I found off-putting, but it improved quickly. I found the pace of the movie slightly tedious, but this is necessary to show what Palestinian life is like (waiting hours at check-points to go anywhere is not unusual). Some parts of the movie were slightly confusing for a non-Palestinian audience to follow what was going on. The lead actress who plays Rana was very good. It is not a story about the Israeli occupation, it is a story about Rana, but it does show a lot of what it is like in Israeli occupied Palestine. If you don't mind that it isn't Hollywood, I would recommend this movie purely for the interesting setting.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

A game attempt to show the human impact of occupation.

6/10
Author: maple-2 from United States
25 January 2003

A fair depiction of the hardships under occupation, and the customs of the middle class Muslim Palestinians in Jerusalem. Perhaps because it was filmed in Jerusalem streets under such adversity, this film is a bit amateurish with mismatched music substituting for compelling acting.

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A human look at life and love under occupation

8/10
Author: runamokprods from US
6 May 2010

Hany Abu-Assad has proved himself with this film, 'Ford Transit', and 'Paradise Now', to be one of the most interesting and astute chroniclers of the Palestinian experience in Jerusalem.

The plot is simple: A young Palestinian woman must decide whether to defy tradition and marry her boyfriend that day, or leave forever with her father, and enter an arranged marriage in another land.

The film sometimes meanders, but has some very powerful sequences, giving a strong sense of the realities of life under occupation, and some sweetly human comic moments showing the universality of humanity in all cultures.

Very good lead performances all around.

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0 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Boring but nice location shots

4/10
Author: sunraider from United States
7 November 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The only thing about this movie that is worthy of a recommendation are the nice location shots. I've never been to Israel or the Palestinian territories, so it was nice to see a modern view of this always-in-the-news region. But, story-wise, this film is a mediocre effort. The pace is agonizingly slow and anti-climactic as the heroine that we're supposed to care about locates her true love halfway through the movie and then we're forced to follow this uninteresting couple as they try to round up the family and have a quick wedding ceremony. There is a movie here. It's a young girl's journey to check out each and every one of the potential (and father-approved) suitors on the list. One charming moment in the film was when the girl and her boyfriend peek into the offices of a young lawyer who's on the list. She's never seen him before so she's naturally curious to check him out as she tells her boyfriend. How much more interesting it would have been to have the girl meet all her potential suitors, compare them to her rather mundane actor-boyfriend, and make a grown-up decision. That would have been a real journey worth filming.

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4 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

Propaganda

1/10
Author: keff
4 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Total propaganda, completely fake. In addition, the film was boring, slow and pointless. The only positive was the soundtrack, it had some nice Arabic music in it.

I have had spent 3 weeks wandering in the towns surrounding Ramallah, Jerusalem's Arab quarters, along the Lebanese border and other "hot spots" and have never seen the Israelis point a gun at anyone. This movie has the IDF doing it in every scene.

The irony of the propaganda in this film is that no matter how hard they tried to paint the Palestinians as victims, they still seem like they are living with morals from 500 years ago.

1. 30 or so kids throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at 4 men with guns and then the movie thinks the watchers are going to feel bad when they eventually shoot?! WHERE ARE THEIR PARENTS AND WHY HASN'T SOCIAL SERVICES TAKEN CUSTODY OF THESE KIDS?! Can any American imagine allowing and encouraging your child to throw rocks at an armed police man?!

2. Rana's father says he would rather miss his daughters wedding than his plane!

3. Arranged marriages from a list of men within one weeks time, come on...

Don't waste your time on this crummy flick.

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