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Women’s Cinema from Tangiers to Tehran

Thursday, April 2, 2009
7:50 p.m. The Kite
Randa Chahal Sabbag (Lebanon/France, 2003)

Presented in memory of Randa Chahal Sabbag, who passed away in August 2008.

(Hala khalil). Randa Chahal Sabbag gives the Israeli/Lebanese border situation a perceptively symbolic twist in this “fairytale for troubled times” involving love and tradition among various factions in a militarized landscape. Two neighboring Lebanese villages find themselves in different countries after one is annexed into Israel; with the sixteen-year-old Lamia to marry off, though, family members on both sides take up bullhorns to shout wedding arrangements and periodic insults across the border. With only newlyweds or corpses allowed through the checkpoint, Lamia must make her bridal procession alone, not through fields of roses but under barbed wire and at gunpoint, to a zone that her family can never visit. Her true love may literally be between the two sides, however, in the person of an Israeli Arab border guard. Chahal Sabbag won the Silver Lion Award at the 2003 Venice Film Festival for this touching film.

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Sabbag. Photographed by Alain Levent. With Flavia Bechara, Ziad Rahbani, Randa Asmar, Renee Dick. (80 mins, In Arabic with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From First Run Features)