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A Wedding in Ramallah (2002)

  Directed by: Sherine Salama
Links: A Wedding in Ramallah on the IMDb
Genre: Documentary
Awards: AFI Awards: Best Documentary 2002 (winner)

This movie gets: 6.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Really makes you think..." - a review by pearly

Bassam has returned to Ramallah from the USA. He was married (for love), but the marriage fell apart, and he, with help from his family, has found himself a new bride, Mariam, in an arranged marriage. A Wedding in Ramallah documents Bassam and Mariam's courting period (if that's what you call it), through their marriage and the first year or so of their marriage, where Bassam tries to get Mariam a Visa so that she may join him in the USA.

I found their story very interesting, in no small part due to the fact that it was so difficult to try to put myself into either Bassam or Mariam's shoes. From Bassam, who had earlier been imprisoned and then forced out of the country, and now seemed to have figured that the only practical thing to do would be to have an arranged marriage, to Mariam, who didn't smile once in the first half of the film, and whose motivations and thoughts I could not at all understand (Mariam can't speak English, so her story was not as well told as Bassam's).

Partway through the film, I found my attention wandering a little, and I think that the focus that was taken was not exactly where I wanted it to be, so in some parts it dragged a little. It became obvious how the film would end, but it seemed like it was taking a long time to reach the inevitable conclusion. Being a documentary, the filmmakers were obviously reliant on their subjects, and therefore could not do much to steer the film a certain way, but perhaps given the footage they had, it may have been better to shorten the film a little in order to get it to flow more nicely.

That said, there were definitely many intriguing aspects of the film. Bassam's brother also had an arranged marriage 5 or so years earlier, and during the time in which the wives are left with the husband's family (whilst awaiting Visas), the two girls become close friends (there's really no one else for them to interact with). They have to deal with their husband's family being "in charge" of them, and also the fact that they're living with the constant sound of tanks and gunfire, and this side of the story would have been great to have been explored further.

Whether or not you agree with the concept of arranged marriages, or whether you are indifferent, watching this film will probably make you think about your position a little more. After having watched it, my feeling is that really, in the end, arranged or otherwise does not matter. What matters more is the person you end up with - an awful person will always be awful, and vice versa.

pearly gives this movie 6 out of 10.
Review created on Thu 12 Sep 2002

Movie review statistics

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Reader comments

  1. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TEL ME WHAT MUSIC WAS USE INE "A Wedding in Ramallah". THE TWO MAIN SONGS WERE PLAYED AT THE VERY END OF THE MOVIE. ONE WAS PLAYED AS THE FINAL CAPTIONS WHERE BEING SHOWN AND THE OTHER WAS PLAYED WHEN THE CREDITS WERE ROLLING.

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from MARK on Wed 05 Nov 2003 16:33 #

  2. the song in the ending credits is Ehab Tawfik's "Tetraga Feya" you can downloaded free @ (http://www.mazika.com/Song.html?Country=EG&Singer=37&Album=114)
    I hope this helps
    Motaz
    Cairo, Egypt

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Motaz on Wed 05 Nov 2003 19:45 #

  3. The best independant movie i have seen!!!!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from maria qureshi on Fri 14 Nov 2003 10:02 #

  4. One of the worst movies about Arabs and Palestinians especailly moslems. It portrays men as backwards and gives the impression that all Palestinian weddings and all men and women in Palestine are like that. Besides, the movie was hardly shot in Ramallah- it was a suburb of Ramallah.

    Rating given: 1

    A comment from Aham on Tue 17 Feb 2004 07:09 #

  5. excellent!

    Rating given: 9

    A comment from jean on Wed 14 Jul 2004 01:20 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 7.80 (5 ratings)

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