Le Chant des Mariées (The Wedding Song) (2008)
Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.
Two young women find that their differences bring them closer during a difficult time in this drama from writer and director Karin Albou. Nour (Olympe Borval) and Myriam (Lizzie Brocheré) grew up in the same neighborhood in Tunis, 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 Tunis is under occupation by Axis forces, which has made life difficult for both women; the German authorities have prevented Khaled (Najib Oudghiri), Nour's fiancé, 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 (Simon Abkarian) 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. Le Chant des Mariées (aka The Wedding Song) was an official selection at the 2008 Palm Springs International Film Festival. … More
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Critic Reviews for Le Chant des Mariées (The Wedding Song)
With intimacy and sensuality, Albou explores what it means to be a woman and the bonds that women form with each other in an increasingly precarious situation.
The bond between Brocheré and Borval is more physical than verbal; they often seem on the verge of a deep, soulful lip-lock, but since neither character is developed satisfactorily, it's hard to develop a rooting interest in...their friendship.
Writer-director Karin Albou (who plays the mother of the Jewish bride) has a sensuous, intimate filmmaking style that overrides The Wedding Song's more precariously loaded plot parallels.
This seductively fluid and tactile drama explores love and identity through the prism of the female body and the rights of its owner.
An intelligently written and directed story of two 16-year-old girls -- one Jewish and one Muslim -- and their friendship in Tunis during the Nazi occupation in the 1940s.
While a lesser filmmaker might be content to remain within the confines of corrosive zealotry, Albou proves her mettle by using religion as a conduit for exploring women's issues.
Audience Reviews for Le Chant des Mariées (The Wedding Song)
There's a lot going on in this film. Perhaps, too much in this story of the Nazi occupation of Tunis in 1942. The friendship of a Jewish and Muslim girl is tested against the actions of their parents and the occupiers. The preparation for marriage scene, Oriental style, is painful to watch and lasts too long. However, this is a very fine film, and should be seen by all who have an interest in the terrible times of World War II.
The German occupation of Tunisia forms the backdrop for this gritty look at Arab-Jewish relations on a microscopic scale. Two families that live in the same compound try to deal with the harsh realities of war, testing friendships. Excellent, sensitive telling, terrific acting and unrelenting tension made this a most interesting film. The collaboration between the Germans, the French, and the native Arabs, was an aspect of the war that this viewer had been unaware of. No longer.
This film is a seductive,exquisite,and erotic drama by writer and director Karin Albou,who gave us in 2005 "La Petite Jerusalem",and plays in this film Myriam's mom. The film immerses us in a women's environment,focusing above all on the intense friendship of two 16-year-old girls coming of age and living in Nazi-occupied Tunis in 1942. The teens' closeness,though not sexual,has strong erotic overtones,their hopes of love,and their attempt to overcome the crushing obstacles of cultural differences and racist politics,are the heart of the film. The film also gives us a glimpse inside the wome's section of a hamman(public bathhouse),and a very shocking but most emblematic scene:a peerless melding of cruelty and tenderness.The movie's distinction lies in Lizzie Brochere and Olympe Borval giving us two very lovely perfomances,and in the passion and pain of parallel live-both girls suffering at the hands of men,both struggling to understand the brutality of the world they must share.
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