6.7/10
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9 user 21 critic

The Wedding Song (2008)

Le chant des mariées (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama , War | 17 December 2008 (France)
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The Nazi occupation of Tunisia strains the bonds of friendship between a Muslim woman and a Sephardic Jewish woman who are both preparing for their marriages.

Director:

Karin Albou

Writer:

Karin Albou
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lizzie Brocheré ... Myriam
Olympe Borval Olympe Borval ... Nour
Najib Oudghiri Najib Oudghiri ... Khaled / Nour's fiancé-cousin
Simon Abkarian ... Raoul / Doctor
Karin Albou Karin Albou ... Tita / mère de Myriam-Myriam's mother-Tailor
Lassad Boumnijel Lassad Boumnijel ... père de Nour / Nour's father
Nejia Jendoubi Nejia Jendoubi ... mère de Nour / Nour's mother
Hichem Rostom Hichem Rostom ... père de Raoul / Raoul's father
Jaouida Vaugan Jaouida Vaugan ... mère de Raoul / Raoul's mother
Noureddine Bousselmi Noureddine Bousselmi ... Si Mustapha
Habiba Songri Habiba Songri ... soeur de Nour / Nour's sister
Skander Capizzi Skander Capizzi ... frère de Nour / Nour's brother
Saleh Trifi Saleh Trifi ... oncle de Nour / Nour's uncle
Inchirah Zitouni Inchirah Zitouni ... Hannana
Dalila Meftahi Dalila Meftahi ... Patronne du hammam
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Storyline

Two young women, Nour and Myriam find that their differences bring them closer during a difficult time. They grew up in the same neighborhood in Tunisia, and as they've grown into adulthood they've stayed close friends, even though Nour is a Muslim and Myriam is Jewish. It's 1942, and Tunisia is under occupation by Axis forces, which has made life difficult for both women; the German authorities have prevented Khaled, Nour's fiancé and cousin, from getting a job, forcing them to postpone their wedding, while Myriam's family must pay exorbitant fines for being Jewish, which may lead her into a marriage of convenience to a wealthy physician Raoul many years her senior. While Myriam sees no way out of her desperate situation, Nour finds that the Nazi propaganda circulated throughout the community is piquing her worst suspicions about Jewish stereotypes. But as Nour and Myriam sink deeper into their personal crises, they begin to understand how badly they need one another's support. Written by lament

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | War

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

France | Tunisia

Language:

Arabic | French

Release Date:

17 December 2008 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Wedding Song See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,240, 9 October 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$30,818, 5 March 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Karin Albou had difficulty casting the role of Nour due to the extensive nudity. She originally intended to cast a Muslim Tunisian girl before broadening her search to all Tunisians and then going to Algeria to search for actresses. After failing to find any actresses willing to appear naked she moved on to France where she finally found Olympe Borval who was willing to take on the role. Borval had to learn Arabic for the movie. See more »

Connections

Edited into Film socialisme (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Naturträne
by Nina Hagen
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I couldn't completely suspend my disbelief but...
16 December 2010 | by jjedifSee all my reviews

Much is heard about the ability of Jews and Muslims to live together in relative peace and harmony in medieval Spain and later in French North Africa, and it's hard to know to what extent this was really true. Angel Vasquez in his novel, "La vida perra de Juanita Narboni", set in Tangier, certainly made it such peaceful co-existence seem both possible and real. And certainly the ambiance of North Africa is present in "The Wedding Song", which combines some of the sexual tension present in "Wedding in Galilee" with the wartime tension of "Battle of Algiers."

The German have occupied North Africa, and neither Muslim nor Jew really have any reason to love the French, who treated their colonial subjects like dirt. Given a choice between supporting the French or the Germans, I couldn't fault the North Africans in the movie for feeling sympathy for Germany or for working for Germans. In fact, this very French sort of moral conundrum works well in a film that is full of moral conundrums.

Concerning the sexuality and...gasp...full frontal nudity...found in "The Wedding Song", this movie is probably not for a pre-teen since the movie is really about the status of women...in a foreign culture, and, thus, is going to be over the heads of most pre-teens. That would seem to make the film an "R" rather than a "PG-13" (though I wouldn't be surprised if our censors gave it an "NC-17" because in a lots of ways, we in the "liberal" west aren't much more enlightened on sex and nudity than the ayatollahs in Iran). I certainly wouldn't have any problem though with my teenage son or daughter seeing this movie if he or she were interested in the culture or the topic (they're not going to see it at the cineplex, so we're talking about whether I would rent it and then let them watch it). But don't worry, worried parents, to most American teens this movie is of no interest and I doubt your kids will want to watch it at home with you). Yes, the sexuality *is* occasionally erotic, but more often than not, it's realistic and not very sexy by Hollywood standards. There is nothing pornographic about the sexuality whatsoever...unless you're one of those people who finds the human body to be an abdomination and all nudity unholy.

Finally, is "The Wedding Song" a chic flick? I would say definitely NO. But are more women than men likely to take an interest in the topic of women's rights in a Muslim country? Sadly the answer is probably yes. In the end I just couldn't really buy into the relationship between the two young protagonists. Still, interesting, well-crafted films from North Africa/the Middle East don't ever make it to the cineplex, and there is plenty of suspense and action in "The Wedding Song", so I think thoughtful, thinking people will find this film worth a watch. By the way, I would give both "Wedding in Galilee" and "Battle of Algiers" a 10/10.


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