Lisa Schwarzbaum
October 28, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Wedding Song

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
100 minutes
performer
Olympe Borval, Lizzie Brochere, Karin Albou
director
Karin Albou
distributor
Strand Releasing
author
Karin Albou
genre
Drama, Foreign Language

We gave it a B

In Nazi-occupied Tunis in 1942, a young Muslim woman (Olympe Borval) and her Jewish best friend (Lizzie Brocheré), each with marriage ahead, try to make sense of a world in which male-dominated occupation extends even to the girls’ own bodies. Writer-director Karin Albou (who plays the mother of the Jewish bride) has a sensuous, intimate filmmaking style that overrides The Wedding Song‘s more precariously loaded plot parallels. And her authoritative depiction of culturally precise, sexually charged feminine rituals (including pleasurable bathing in the hammam and more painful wedding prep) opens a door otherwise locked to outsiders. B

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