The Syrian Bride | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

The Syrian Bride 

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This darkly comic Israeli feature (2004) revolves around the Druze, a close-knit minority scattered throughout the Middle East; their political allegiances follow national borders, but their tradition prohibits marriage outside the religious community. A wistful young Druze woman in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights (Clara Khoury of Rana's Wedding) is betrothed to a TV star in Damascus, but on the big day her father (Makram J. Khoury) escalates tensions by marching in a pro-Syrian rally. Her sister (Hiam Abbass) defies dad by asking for the local authority's help, and the movie leaps into existential absurdity when a bureaucratic snafu strands the bride between checkpoints. Director Eran Riklis entertains without sermonizing, though the story clearly identifies women as the region's best chance for peace. In English and subtitled Hebrew, Arabic, and French. 98 min. Music Box.

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