Celebrating ‘Rana’s Wedding’

A still from Rana's wedding
We just finished watching Hani Abu Asad’s Rana’s Wedding, and what a delight it was. The movie, which was made in 2002, tells the story of a young Palestinian woman who is madly in love and desperately wants to get married to the man of her dreams before 4 PM.

While pursuing her desires, Rana faces many hurdles stemming from both the traditions of her society and Israeli occupation. The movie’s ultimate message is that happiness can still be attained regardless of the circumstances life throws at you. Rana’s Wedding is definitely a must see! Two thumbs up at the Tynes house! I have to admit, though, the movie made me incredibly homesick. It is worth noting that this film was made available to us through the incredbile library of Netflix. At this stage of my life, I can’t seem to recall life before Netflix. What an amazing service.

10 thoughts on “Celebrating ‘Rana’s Wedding’”

  1. Yeah its an amazing one. I watched it back in 2002. I loved how it was filmed.And the dark humour that filled it was a new way of portraying the misery yet in an unconventional way.

  2. I’m dying to see this film! I should have stayed with you guys longer to watch it, huh? 🙂

  3. Of course, the director is actually Israeli (albeit a Palestinian, with Israeli citizenship, who apparently usually lives in Holland). At least part of the film was shot inside Israel and all in all, it’s nice that Israel allows such films to be directed in its country, by its own citizens and does not harass them, but instead exhibits their films on their cinemas.
    Of course, if the film were anti-Palestinian and shot in the Palestinian Authority, the director would have a rather different reception:)
    Having said which, I’m sure it’s a lovely film, although I’m also sure that the director ensured the Israeli guards will be portrayed as unfeeling (or worse) after all, it would be horrible (for the director and for some of his audience) to show the guards at the check-point as being friendly and kind. That would be very politically-incorrect. It would also be a nuisance to show some Israelis with their arms and legs missing because of Palestinian suicide bombers.
    I’m not saying the film has to focus on people with missing limbs. Not every film has to be about politics. Love is worth making films about and I’m sure this is a lovely film, most of which I’d probably love watching!
    However, the fact that he’s doubtlessly taking care to portray the Israelis in the way which suits his politics and the fact that his being an Israeli citizen usually goes unmentioned is problematic. He probably also received finance for the film from Israeli sources, although this is something he won’t like to talk much about.

  4. Anon your comments are interesting although perhaps a bit obtuse. Your questions about his funding sources are quite curious. I’ve not heard anything about this. Are you aware that this same director is also responsible for the film Paradise Now about Palestinian suicide bombers. BTW, that is an absolutely fantastic film. Paradise was up for an Oscar (although it lost to Tsotsi)and was the source of a protest calling for its removal. There is a story about it on the newswire. In short, some Israelis [had a real problem with it]. So did an Arab-American that said it “did not show the evils of terrorism enough.” [Fixed for Amir]
    So I’m not sure I understand your angle on the “he’s an Israeli Palestinian” tip. That Oscar nod was certainly historic, bringing some well-deserved notice to Palestine’s crisis and to Palestinian filmmakers, as debate began over how to credit the film. Previously Palestinian films couldn’t be introduced into the “foreign language” category as such because Palestine was not recognized.
    Also on the newswire is an interview with Hany, in which he discusses many of these issues, although he doesn’t say anything about his funding. I’d be curious to know if Israel provides any arts funding to filmmakers. It would not be surprising if they do, although I’d be surprised to hear that Hany accepted any of that money for this film (Rana) but most especially for Paradise.

  5. I found the film a bit boring actually–perhaps because it was just so normal–the bureaucracy,the standard security reasons for not letting the father go, the demonstration, the fiesty wife trying to get an education at Haifa U.–yawn. Don’t need a movie to see that. There are a number of better Israeli films last year like “Or” or “Ushpezin”.
    These gave real glimpes into parts of Israeli society that you don’t see in the news.

  6. By the way, she wasn’t a young Palestinian woman but rather a Druse living on the Golan Heights. Druse on the Golan are still loyal to Syria (probably out of fear as to what would happen to them should the Golan be returned to Syria in a peace treaty, or perhaps they are true Syrian loyalists..who knows)

  7. neb, you’ve got your films confused. The film you are referring to about the Druze living in the Golan is called The Syrian Bride. It was just released theatrically (although made in 2004) and is currently running in a few of the art house cinemas in the Washington Metro area.
    In Rana’s Wedding, she is definitely Palestinian. I wondered when you mentioned about Haifa U, etc in the comment above your last. Rana doesn’t have anything to do with Haifa University. So you’ve seen another film — which I must admit surprised me with its similarity when I saw it announced right after watching Rana’s Wedding. You did not see the film Natasha mentions, at least all you’ve said here is not about it. Give Rana a view; it’s for rent now in the US. It sounds like it might be better than The Syrian Bride.
    The one you make note of here, The Syrian Bride, is listed in IMDB for those interested: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0423310/

  8. Jeff,
    The simplistic quote you pulled regarding the Paradise Now petition “did not show the evils of terrorism enough.” was actually said by an “Arab-American” not an Israeli. The petition was not just be Israelis, but if you want to attribute a quote to the Israelis – there is one there: “Paradise Now is a movie that attempts to explain away the actions behind mass-murderers. This mere act, in effect, legitimizes this type of mass murder and portrays the murderers themselves as victims!”

  9. Amir you’re right. My bad. But the point there, my point, was that this was an engaging and challenging film worthy of consideration for Oscar. I’m guessing you don’t agree. That’s fine. I wonder if you saw the film because I didn’t see any legitimization going on; a main character argues against the act through the entire film. Instead it explores the “why.” Some regard that as an important avenue to explore. It sounds like maybe you don’t. Fine. But it’s hard to argue that Hany Abu Asad is not a director of note, no matter which side of the wall your on.

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