Week of December 3, 2003

Rana's Wedding (unrated) Hany Abu-Assad. For Palestinian bride-to-be Rana, life in East Jerusalem precludes any expectation of an uneventful wedding day. But when her father declares one Tuesday that she must marry by 4 p.m. or travel to Egypt with him to continue her studies, Rana becomes determined. She wills herself to find her fiancé, an official registrar, an appropriate dress and time for personal preparation despite daunting obstacles. Through periodic voiceover, Rana offers thoughts and regrets about the situation in occupied territory. "We've forgotten how to love and feel," she says, after witnessing boys throwing stones, Israeli soldiers firing back, long lines of petitioners waiting for basic permits, checkpoints and roadblocks making travel difficult or impossible, patrols ever suspicious of normal activity, and intrusive surveillance cameras. The film's ambiance benefits from the calm, unaffected performance by Clara Khoury and the on-location shooting in East Jerusalem and Ramallah. Still, intent on establishing the myriad details of this oppressive situation, the pace demands patience with long periods of quiet observation. Screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday, December 9, in the Moore Auditorium on the campus of Webster University, 470 E. Lockwood Avenue. Call 314-968-7487 for more information. (Diane Carson)
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