Screen/Society--French Film Series--"THE WEDDING SONG" (Le Chant des mariées)
The Wedding Song (Le Chant des mariées)
(Karin Albou, 2008, 100 min, France, 35mm)
In her follow-up to her 2005 debut, Little Jerusalem, Karin Albou reveals herself to be a highly gifted, sensitive chronicler of both the complex lives of young women and religious differences. Set in Nazi-occupied Tunis in 1942, The Wedding Song focuses on the friendship between teenagers Nour, a devout Muslim celebrating her engagement to Khaled, and her neighbor Myriam, a secular Jew living with her widowed mother, Tita. Nour’s wedding to Khaled must be postponed until he can secure financial stability; hired as an informer by the Nazis, Khaled will soon threaten to destroy the bonds between the two heroines. The brasher and more independent Myriam finds herself forced into an arranged marriage to a wealthy older man, a union that will enable Tita to pay off the huge fines levied against Jewish residents. Though their lives are certainly circumscribed, Albou’s protagonists aren’t portrayed as helpless victims; instead, Nour and Myriam are committed to taking control, exercising their own formidable will whenever they can. Just as significantly, The Wedding Song plays close attention to the social and cultural spaces women carved out for themselves in restrictive societies, like the hammam spas.
"The Wedding Song, a seductively fluid and tactile drama from the writer and director Karin Albou, explores love and identity through the prism of the female body and the rights of its owner… Filmed with subtle eroticism and dreamy intimacy, the girls’ bond becomes a compelling love story." -- Jeanette Catsoulis, The New York Times.
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Sponsors: Program in Arts of the Moving Image (AMI) and Center for French and Francophone Studies