WEDDING IN GALILEE is a moving and remarkable Belgian-French coproduction about Palestinian wedding customs, military and patriarchal dominance, and the quest for peace in the Middle East. Directed by the 36-year-old, Nazareth-born Michel Khleifi, who resides in Belgium, this film has not
come to American shores without its share of accolades. It was awarded the 1987 Cannes Critic's Prize, named Best Film of the Year in Belgium, and took the Grand Prize at the San Sebastian Film Festival--where jury member Alain Tanner said to Khleifi, "Your film is greater than any prize we could
Filmed before the escalation in Palestinian-Israeli tensions of late 1987, WEDDING IN GALILEE is set (and was photographed) in the occupied West Bank, where the village mukhtar (elder), played by Akili, has vowed to give his son a great wedding. The obstacle to this planned festivity is the
imposed curfew that takes effect every evening at sundown. Akili appeals to the military governor, Khouri, to make an exception in this case, but to no avail. Khouri does propose that the wedding can take place on the condition that he and his Israeli aides are invited as guests of honor. Without
pondering the consequences, Akili agrees and parts with the military governor on friendly terms. When he explains to his villagers that the Israelis will be in attendance, there is an immediate split, with hostilities and insults hurled about at once. Even Akili's son, groom-to-be Akleh, disagrees
with his father's decision. The wedding, however, will take place as Akili has promised.
A rich, lyrical film of many textures, WEDDING IN GALILEE presents Western audiences with a world rarely seen onscreen, familiar only from violent television news reports. As an anthropological film, it is educational and enlightening, presenting foreign locations and nonprofessional actors. But
WEDDING IN GALILEE is much more than a film of cultural curiosity. It is a human drama, ranging in tone from comic to poignant, from tense to sensual. Director Michel Khleifi is not afraid to let his camera linger on his locations, allowing it to move through the space and stare out an open window
long after the characters have left and the action has ceased. Often the haunting musical score overpowers all other sounds until it is the only thing heard.
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- Released: 1987
- Rating: NR
- Review: WEDDING IN GALILEE is a moving and remarkable Belgian-French coproduction about Palestinian wedding customs, military and patriarchal dominance, and the quest for peace in the Middle East. Directed by the 36-year-old, Nazareth-born Michel Khleifi, who resi… (more)