“Profoundly affecting..." - Edward Said, The Nation
This is the first feature film made in Palestine by a Palestinian director. It is a lyrical, passionate tale of a Palestinian wedding that takes place in an occupied village, and the contemporary tensions, contradictions and hostilities that surround it. The elder of the village, an old patriarchal Arab mayor, wants to marry his son with pomp and circumstance, in accordance with tradition, but his village is under martial law, so he needs Israeli approval to break the curfew as the celebrations will take place all night. He is granted the permission, on the condition that the Israeli military governor and his staff be guests of honour at the ceremony.
The Mayor's family is torn apart by his acquiescence to the Israeli governor's condition, with some of the younger men planning to sabotage the party. The film takes place over two days with tension mounting between members of the family pitted against each other in the face of the Israelis, culminating in the groom's failure to consummate his marriage and his attempt to stab his father, whom he blames for his humiliating impotence. Finally, the Israelis decide to leave and are taunted by the Palestinians, who pelt them with objects in a scene which eerily foretells the first Intifada (uprising), which erupted only six months after the film was shot.
Youssef Abu Wardeh
International Critics' Prize, Quinzaine des réalisateurs, Cannes 1987
Golden Concha, San Sebastian Film Festival (Spain) 1987
Golden Tanit, Journées Cinématographiques de Carthage, Tunisia
Public's Prize Chaumont (France)
Best Belgian Film
Best Benelux film
Best Social Film Prize
Finalist, UCC Prize (Belgium) 1987