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The Wedding Song [DVD] [2010]

Lizzie Brochere , Olympe Borval , Karin Albou    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: £4.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Lizzie Brochere, Olympe Borval, Najib Oudghiri, Karin Albou
  • Directors: Karin Albou
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Peccadillo Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 16 May 2011
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004CSKCVS
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 57,832 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

César nominee writer/director Karin Albou's bold second feature lifts the lid on a chapter of WWII history that has rarely been shown. Reminiscent of women-led wartime films such as 'Aimée & Jaguar' and 'The Diary of Anne Frank', 'The Wedding Song' explores both Jewish and Arab cultures and female sexuality to winning effect.

Tunis, 1942: Against the Allied bombs and the goosesteps of the Nazi occupiers, two teenage girlfriends, one Muslim, the other Jewish, cling to the bond theyve shared since childhood. However, the world shared by Jews and Arabs is being split by German promises of liberation theyll rid Tunis of the French and the Jews. As Myriam is no longer safe, her mother attempts to marry her off to a wealthy doctor to save them both. But Myriam doesn't want to get married, so she and Nour make efforts to scupper the wedding plans.

Extra s

  • Dolby Digital 5.1

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rich, complex study of friendship during war 15 Oct 2011
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD
Like her earlier, excellent 'Le Petite Jerusalem', Karin Albou's story
of two best teen girlfriends suffering through WWII in Tunis is rich
with sensual textures; bodies, fabrics, a powerful sense of place.
Albou is one of those directors who uses silence, a look shared, an
extreme close up to communicate what most filmmakers rely on dialogue
to say.

One girl is Jewish, the other Muslim. Both dream of happy marriages in
societies and religious cultures that keep women as objects used by
men, while both religious groups are used as puppets and victims used
by the Nazi occupiers - if in very different ways.

A deceptively complex film, this story of friendship touches on war,
religion, class politics, race, and sexual roles. If I found it a touch
less successful than her last film, it may be because Albou was being so
ambitious, trying to cover so much ground in 100 minutes.
But I'll take that kind of ambition in an artist anytime.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AMAZING FILM! 9 May 2011
Format:DVD
This film is beyond amazing..being half Tunisian myself i did not realise the friendship between the muslims and the jews was so close. The parody of the film is that it is 1942 and the jews are the targets of the german narzis. This film really illustrates how much things have changed since then and why we have some of the problems today within the world. Its a beautiful film...and i have pre-ordered it for the last month to watch in English as i have only seen in French/Arabic. I can't wait to see it in English..its one of the BEST films about! LOVE IT!
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It is a wonderful film 12 May 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It is a beautiful film about an age when women starts to convince God to make them the help in His Own Image and Likeness. It is also a story of a hen ( Jesus Christ ) who protects her golden chicken ( his disciples ).
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good film but not lesbian? 24 May 2014
Format:DVD
This was an interesting film about a friendship between two girls during the war. I was disappointed to discover, however, that the relationship between the two girls was a platonic one. Pecaddillo Pictures make lesbian and gay movies so this was a bit misleading. A real shame, because it had the potential to be more than 3 stars.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 12 Dec 2010
By topazgirl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
Other reviewers have expressed their love of this movie in far better terms than I can, but I just want to say that it is an amazing film. Perfect in every way. The first thing you will notice is the colors. You will "feel" the outside and the inside of these homes like never before. You will "feel" you are in their world like no one else has ever portrayed it before. I wish I knew what it was the director did to evoke such feelings in us. Was it as simple as lighting???? I just know this is going on my list as a favorite movie of all time. I want to immediately watch it again, but am worried I will "ruin a good thing" so will put a little time between watchings.

Another interesting though confusing aspect of this film is that the inhabitants of this town were both Muslim and Jew. Muslims who spoke Arabic AND French, and Jews who understood? Arabic and spoke French. Since I hadn't remembered the back of the DVD box telling me the setting was Tunis....(which I know little about anyway), I was so intrigued at the languages coming out of the nationalities of people. And why were French Jews living alongside French Muslims?

Surely easily answered with a little history lesson.

The actors were amazing. The French Jewish girl a gem and so stunning in beauty. The close relationship of the two girls that lessor minds would assume was almost lesbian, while higher minds will know is just how close young girls can be in hugging and kissing on the cheek. It takes you to a time when this was commonplace and not considered sexual. There is a lot of nudity in the film, and as I'm sure others have pointed out, even close ups of the vaginal mound. But if ever in the history of movie making was this NOT gratuitous nudity; this is it. The nudity was not sexual, it was of women in the communal steam baths. And the vaginal scenes were in showing a girl being readied for marriage by removing her pubic and arm hair (!) as the groom requested his bride to be "oriental" in presentation, as opposed to "European" (which made me laugh when I realized European meant "hairy").

I was also transfixed by the bare feet stained blue on the bottom to mimic? shoes; open rooms to the outside; and lack of underwear. These women live so close to nature and being natural as you can imagine. Its as though the body is perfectly OK as it is, and you simply throw a dress over your bare skin and walk out to the street. (what a concept) I wondered how many centuries old was the well that they used for water. The blue-wash of the walls was also mesmerizing. This is a movie that will transfix you with the small things of life.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lyrical and touching portrayal of friendship that transcends religious boundaries 21 Mar 2010
By Z Hayes - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
"The Wedding Song" is a unique and credibly acted movie directed by Karin Albou. The setting is 1942 Tunis, and the Nazis are occupying the country. Just like the rest of Nazi-occupied territories, anti-Jewish propaganda is rampant. The native Tunisian Muslims, who have been oppressed under the French colonialists, are given leaflets that encourage their cooperation whilst persuading them that the Allies do not have their best interests at heart. There is great poverty everywhere, and the movie basically focuses on two girls - Nour (Olympe Boval) is a Muslim girl who comes from an impoverished family and Myriam (Lizzie Bochere) is a Jewish teenager who is being raised by her widowed seamstress mother. The girls have been best friends since their childhood, their houses share the same courtyard and they are both poor. However, there is one great difference - the French had carried out a policy of divide and conquer, allowing only the non-natives access to education and positions in government. As a Jew, Myriam has received an education, whereas Nour by virtue of her ethnicity and being a female, has been deprived of schooling. Myriam is free to walk wherever she pleases, unveiled but Nour, as a Muslim woman, needs to veil herself and can only go out if she is chaperoned (still practiced in many Middle Eastern countries).

Despite these differences, the two girls share a very close bond, one that is threatened by the Nazi invasion and subsequent policies. Slowly, the girls find their religious differences to be a barrier that threatens their friendship. Nour's fiance Khaled (Najib Oudghiri) is poor and unemployed, and Nour's father refuses to allow their marriage because of this. Out of desperation and resentment towards the Jews, Khaled works for the Nazis as a translator and collaborates in looting Jewish property. In the meantime, Myriam finds herself being forced into an arranged marriage to a much older and wealthy doctor, Raoul (Simon Abkarian). Myriam's mother sees this as the only means for them to escape poverty. Myriam wishes to marry for love, like Nour, but finds there are no viable options for her, especially when the Nazis demand a 200 million francs payoff from the Jewish community.

The movie effectively captures the complex friendship between the two girls through the ups and downs. The girls' bonds are sorely tested by circumstances and the politics of the time, yet Myriam covers for Nour when she arranges clandestine meetings with Khaled, and Nour helps Myriam when the Nazis come for the Jews. The girls' maturation is also credibly portrayed as they become more aware of the men in their lives - Nour comes to realize that though Khaled may be her great love, he has his flaws; and Myriam comes to realize much later that Raoul is not the monster she imagines him to be.

The movie is also a rich source of information about the customs and rituals of womanhood - Nour and Myriam go to the hammam (a bath house for women); Myriam has to undergo the torturous process of having her pubic hair removed by wax prior to her marriage (performed by an older woman and portrayed in graphic detail); and, on her wedding night, Nour's husband is expected to present evidence that Nour is a virgin by showing the blood-stained sheet from the marital bed.

There is one scene in the movie which I found to be compelling in the message it delivers about religious harmony. "The Wedding Song" is a thoughtful reflection upon friendship, and womanhood, and I was absolutely captivated by it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful film 20 Jan 2012
By Mark Showalter - Published on Amazon.com
This movie is hard to describe because even though I can point out several characteristics, friendship for one, it isn't about friendship. It also explores the divides that form from religious differences, but it isn't about that. There is also the stress war puts on people, but it isn't about that. I think what this film is about is shared humanity & the two young ladies who are the main characters are perfect examples. It's just amazing what these two actresses can pull off in so natural a manner. This is simply a wonderful film.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tunisia in 1942 might seem a bit irrelevent now, but it's not. This is a wonderful movie. 13 Aug 2012
By Peter Geraghty - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
There is so much going on in this movie. It's a story about two girls, one Jewish, the other Muslim in Tunisia during the German occupation in the Second World War. The movie convincingly weaves a complex emotional narrative about these two girls, their prospective husbands, traditional North-African attitudes to women, anti-semitism, the girls' friendship, collaboration with oppressors, German exploitation, racism, privileged disdain for the Muslim 'natives,' fascist propaganda, illiteracy among Muslim women, colonialism and much more.

You might think that a movie dealing with all of this would be trying to do too much, but each scene is so carefully drawn, a few words of dialog, a glance, a gesture, that we grasp right away what is going on, a young man desperate for work, a mother fearing poverty, a husband afraid of cowardice. At each point in the story we are given so much detail, so much honest insight into history, culture and religion. All these intricate pieces are fitted together perfectly.

When I see that Wedding Song has 10 reviews and Rambo has 327 reviews I'm baffled. So, if there are any of you out there who are tired of watching Rambo movies and want instead to see a really good film, watch Wedding Song.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars enlightening 9 July 2012
By hummingbirdherder - Published on Amazon.com
This touching film tells one of the stories we don't often hear about-- the effect of Nazism on Jew-Muslim relations. Very worth watching.
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