Sunday, November 2, 2014

Celebrating a WEDDING IN GALILEE

WEDDING IN GALILEE is one of those films that reaches out and hugs an audience, a story about family that shows a whole cross-section of Palestinian life.
Released in 1987, the time of the First Intifada's beginning, the Michel Khleifi film follows the family of Salim Saleh Daoud, played by Mohamad Ali El Akili, as he hosts the wedding of his son.  The regional curfew imposed by the Israelis makes the wedding impossible, so in order to persuade the officer in charge, the Mukhtar invites the man to sit as the guest of honor, a startling and deeply divisive point in the community.
The film has what could be called a conventional plot line, narrating the day-long wedding celebration, but it is in the exhibition of the details that the film becomes more of a meditation, a collage of episodes rather than a line of occurrences.  Even the two major scenes based around antagonism, one featuring a trio of plotting would-be terrorists, the other with the groom ruminating on murder, are presented in a fashion that minimizes the suspenseful possibilities.  Khleifi's style is a mix between documentary-like cinema verite and a kind of sublime magical realism, most vividly portrayed with an episode featuring a prized horse.

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