Sunday, June 18, 2006

"The Syrian Bride"

On our visit to Mrar, the Druze village, we met Adnan Tarabshi, an actor in the film The Syrian Bride (2004). When he's not acting in films, he is leading the community center of Mrar. We were most anxious to see the film: fortunately, the DVD came out the day we returned, and we ordered it from Netflix. It's wonderful. The picture shows the bride with her family. Her sister's husband, played by Tarabshi, is on the far right.

The film portrays these two sisters and their complex family. Location is a Golan Druze village, formerly Syrian territory, now under control of Israel. The situation in this village is completely different from the situation of the village that we visited. The Golan Druze consider themselves to be Syrian, as the film depicts. The Israeli Druze in Mrar and many other villages near Haifa are completely loyal to Israel, including service in the Israeli military.

The major action in the film occurs in a military zone on the border between Israel and Syria, as the bride tries to cross the border -- irrevocably -- to marry a Syrian film star. Her prospective husband and his family stand on the far side of many gates and fences as she waits for approval for her paperwork. The film is full of political irony and emotional interchanges among family members, village elders, police, marching demonstrators, officious border guards, a woman UN representative who had had a relationship with the bride's brother, and so on. As the film comes to an end, the frightened bride waits and waits in the sun behind the last fence, dressed in a long white wedding dress:

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We really enjoyed the film, and were happy that we had met one of the excellent actors.

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