Palestinian-Australian director Sherine Salama’s documentary film A Wedding in Ramallah was screened at the 49th Sydney Film Festival.
The 90-minute documentary is considered the first Australian film that tackles the Palestinian issue, through offering remarkable insight into the lives of ordinary Palestinians.
Even in the midst of intense political conflicts people try to get on with their lives. So it is with Mariam and Bassam, a Palestinian couple who met during the comparatively peaceful summer of 2000. This wonderfully observant film follows their relationship from courtship, to marriage and beyond.
Bassam, a telephone repairman in Cleveland, returns to Palestine to find a “home-made bride.” He quickly meets and marries the younger Mariam but leaves her in Palestine with his family.
Soon afterwards, a new intifada takes place and violence erupts throughout Palestine. Life in wartime is brilliantly evoked: people talk on cell phones, quarrel and cook dinner while tanks are shelling buildings a few blocks away from Bassam’s family home.
After many months, Bassam and another married Palestinian living in America return to see their wives. Eventually, Bassam is able to procure a visa for Mariam, but she soon discovers that life in exile isn’t a panacea either.
This charming film says much about love, courtship and the roles of women and men in Palestinian society, while touching on the problems the Palestinians have with the Other: the Israelis that control their lives – Albawaba.com