In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the...
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Beirut, 1982: a young Palestinian refugee helps an Israeli fighter pilot escape from PLO captivity because he wants to visit his ancestral family home. En route through war-torn Lebanon their relationship develops into a close bond.
Abdallah El Akal,
About a Palestinian girl of 17 who wants to get married to the man of her own choosing. Rana wakes up one morning to an ultimatum delivered by her father: she must either choose a husband ... See full summary »
In the wake of Israel's 2006 bombardment of Lebanon, a determined woman finds her way into the country convincing a taxi cab driver to take a risky journey around the scarred region in search of her sister and her son.
Nada Abou Farhat,
In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the Revolution Studios in Damascus, Syria. They have never met each other because of the occupation of the area by Israel since 1967; when Mona moves to Syria, she will lose her undefined nationality and will never be allowed to return home. Mona's father Hammed is a political activist pro-Syria that is on probation by the Israeli government. His older son Hatten married a Russian woman eight years ago and was banished from Majdal Shams by the religious leaders and his father. His brother Marwan is a wolf trader that lives in Italy. His sister Amal has two teenager daughters and has the intention to join the university, but her marriage with Amin is in crisis. When the family gathers for Mona's wedding, an insane bureaucracy jeopardizes the ceremony. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Of all the movies I ever saw, this one reminded me of the sixth sense.
In the sixth sense (which, let me state right now, has nothing to do with this film in any way, shape or form) one must ponder of serious holes in the plot. Holes that if considered, make the movie completely incoherent. I won't get into detail because I don't want to spoil the movie for the three remaining people who hadn't seen it yet.
The Syrian bride revolves around Amal, a Druze woman in Majd Alshams, a pro-Syrian village that is located in the Golan heights (I'll get into the pro-Syrian and pro-Israeli Druze villages later on). Amal is about to marry a local Syrian celebrity, whom she saw only in the soap-comedy he stars in. This wedding is more than just a plain wedding, it's the last time she will see her family because once she crosses the border and receives the Syrian citizenship, she will never see her family again (unless they meet on a neutral turf such as abroad- Hole No.1). It goes without saying that this fact makes the event a bittersweet one. To make matters worse, the family, already morose over parting with Amal for good (if you disregard the plot hole) has to deal with the feud between the father, a conservative man who brushed with the wrong side of the law (for ideological reasons I couldn't fathom) and his son who was banned by the village elderly for marrying a Russian foreigner.
The wedding brings together the family of the estranged son, his hot-shot, teeth-gapped (a crucial fact in the film) womanizing brother, Marwan and his sister, Mona (Klara khouri in a great performance) a strong willed woman that fights for her independence as well as the one of her teenage daughter. A fight amidst a conservative society that still attributes female independence with male incompetence.
The family's inner "demons" cease to be its major problem when upon escorting the bride to the border, the family faces the weenie Israeli bureaucrat and the ridiculously stubborn Syrian bureaucrat preventing the bride from crossing the border and uniting with her future husband.
The story is essentially a personal one when the political atmosphere plays as an intensifier. The Pro-Syrian Druze who are protesting against the Israeli occupation and for Bashar Elasad (who occupies Lebanon till today, Plot hole No. 2) are in a constant conflict between the country they feel they belong to and the country they currently reside in (as opposed to the Pro-Israeli Druze who serve in the Israeli army and show a remarkable awe-inspiring loyalty to Israel that I rarely witness).
Conflicted emotions, both political and personal, dictate the entire film and with a sometimes over simplified but altogether credible script and with a subtle direction that depicts very authentically (or at least seemingly authentic to the Jewish viewer such as yours truly), the movie creates the emotional effect that transcends the political agenda its based on.
As another reviewer pointed out, this film is the example of the drastic improvement that Israeli films went through the last couple of years when the personal movies became top priority and not the political ones. This movie is a completion of the process by combining the two ganres successfully (once you disregard the holes) to make a film that people can isolate themselves from its ideology and enjoy its overall undeniable,qualities which is, as you probably have guessed, what I did.
9 out of 10 in FilmOmeter.
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