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A Wife for My Son (1982)

Jowjet libni (original title)
| Drama
An arranged marriage as seen through the eyes of an unhappy young Algerian woman.


Ali Ghalem


Ali Ghalem (novel), Ali Ghalem | 1 more credit »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Isma Isma
Chafia Boudraa Chafia Boudraa
Mustapha Kasderli Mustapha Kasderli
Farida Farida
Mustapha Halo Mustapha Halo
Nadia Talbi Nadia Talbi
Fawzi B. Saichi Fawzi B. Saichi ... (as Fawzi Saïchi Boutkhil)
Amina Medjoubi Amina Medjoubi
Wardia Hamtouche Wardia Hamtouche
Hamid Rammas Hamid Rammas
Rachid Fares Rachid Fares
Farida Amrouche Farida Amrouche
Jamila Arres Jamila Arres
Mohamed Ourdache Mohamed Ourdache ... (as Mohammed Ouardache)
Osmane Bechikh Osmane Bechikh


At age 18, Fatiha divides her time between home and school. But when her parents decide to marry her to Hussein, her only a choice is to submit to their wishes. A Wife For My Son profiles the psychology of the "married wife" in modern Algeria. Written by Chthon2 Dude <mezzodon@yahoo.com>

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A disturbing look at an arranged marriage
3 December 2002 | by Pro JurySee all my reviews

English title: A WIFE FOR MY SON (Drama, 1982), directed by Ali Ghalem.

Plot outline: The parents of 18-year-old beauty, Fatiha, decide to marry her to Hussein, the 34-year-old son of a slightly more financially secure family. Fatiha's only choice is to submit to the wishes of her parents. The film attempts to profile the psychology of being a wife in modern Algeria.

Review: This drama was fairly disturbing to watch. Young Fatiha has a sensual contemporary European look. She could easily be mistaken for a raven-haired Irish lass. Her Western looks are in deep contrast to the unfamiliar story unfolding before the viewer.

What must be the most traditional of arrangements in modern Algeria, Fatiha is engaged to Hussein without apparently ever seeing or meeting him. The couple does not speak to each other during the engagement. They do not speak to each other during their wedding. They do not speak to each other during their honeymoon activities which include removing the veils (Hussein's first time to see Fatiha's face), having hot coffee, and having cold, distant, but deep thrusting, sex.

Both Fatiha and we the viewer see Hussein as a distant man with a sour personality completely lacking warmth and compassion. Distant? Hussein does not seem to ever notice or appreciate his young wife's amazing good looks. Hussein rushes through the "honeymoon" so he can leave the house and join his cronies at the local coffee shop. He spends the entire night having boring chat about meaningless topics.

From the honeymoon, on, Fatiha is a unhappy, sobbing and depressed young lady. Her new large extended family all but ignores her. Disturbing.

Although Hussein is said to be 34, the actor playing him looks to be about 44-years-old. Although Algeria is a land where woman seem to wear veils in public, there are scenes in this movie with nudity showing old woman bathing. A very interesting paradox.

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