Haunted by a tragic past, Shahrzad, a stunning music student flees Iran and ends up in an estranged marriage in Los Angeles, where her piano teacher's lover sparks a passion in her that threatens to destroy everything.
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Higher learning is a bloodsport. At Victoria College, a group of desperate professors vie for control of the department, the curriculum, the students, and one another. They're willing to ... See full summary »
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Michael A. Nickles
Michael Leydon Campbell,
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Sparks fly when a Jew and a Muslim fall in love in New York. David, a TV host of "Sex & Happiness", becomes smitten with the voluptuous Layla - a mysterious, sensual dancer. Layla turns out to be a Muslim refugee. Teased by specious tips from his ironic French cameraman, David madly pursues Layla. This sets off a veiling and unveiling of the similarities - and contrasts - of their ancient cultures. David's lust grows into love as he discovers in stunning Layla, a sensitive, intelligent, war survivor with an ancient rich culture that echoes his own culture. But their families are dead set against this unlikely romance. Faced with deportation, Layla must choose: Muslim American Dr. Ahmad or Jewish American David? Will David and Layla follow their hearts to blast through centuries of religious animosity? Written by
Jay Jonroy, writer / producer / director
This film is inspired by a true love story. Married since 1990, the real David & Layla now live in Paris. They flew to New York to meet the cast and the crew during the production of this film. The real Layla designed Layla's wedding dress. She is the guest with green eyes and dark hair who is one of the Kurdish dancing women in bright golden orange gilet, during the wedding. Her husband, the real David, plays himself as the new vasectomy patient who answers to his real name, David Ruby, and gets the appointment with Dr. Jacobson. See more »
Shiva Rose as 'Layla' gives the best performance in this surprisingly delightful and enlightening mixed-genre 'romance, comedy, drama.' Against the continuing wars in the complex Middle East, this is a timely comedy of a Jewish Muslim romance evidently inspired by a true story. Shiva plays the innocent young Kurdish 'village princess.' A recent refugee in Brooklyn (New York), Layla is a war survivor. Millions of refugees uprooted from their homelands will identify with Layla's predicament trying to keep her culture while adjusting to a new life in the West. Layla refuses to play a victim. Instead, with enchanting oriental femininity, she dances in a night club- secretly from her conservative folks who think she's attending nursing school. Layla brings a welcome touch of grace and mystery to the zany shenanigans of this multi-layered story with political undertones. She quickly became my emotional anchor amid the farcical religious and political quid pro quos of prejudices and stereotypes. No wonder Layla becomes the object of David's mad desire! The arousing desire for the 'unobtainable" drives this film's fast-paced plot from its captivating opening sequence setting up Manhattan and the two opposing sides across the Brooklyn bridge - to its unusual happy ending. Layla with her long "night black hair" as the singer in the club describes her- dances sensually with her bracelet clad arms while fully dressed down to her bare feet. What a contrast to David's wealthy Manhattan fiancée, the pretty, smart, kick-boxing, fast Abby, played convincingly by Callie Thorne!? Poetic Layla embodies the modesty and the entrancing femininity of the oppressed women of many parts of Asia and the Islamic world. She expresses with dignity the tragic history of her people; and she subtly introduces David and us to glimpses of the rich, suppressed culture of her homeland. Look for the quaint Kurdish wedding with its amazing colorful costumes, food and exuberant music- and surprise baklava stirring the Jewish side to join in to dance to Hava Nagila! Throughout the film, the mélange of colors and authentic Middle Eastern, Kurdish, Jewish Klezmer, and Jazz music are used to tell the story: East and West clash then gradually reconcile. By the way: Where had Shiva Rose been hiding before her wonderful lead in this film? She's got quite a career coming to her!
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