Al Qods Fee Yom Akhar
starring Clara Khoury, Khalifa Natour, Ismael Dabbag, Walid Abed Elsalam
screenplay by Liana Badr, Ihab Lamey
directed by Hany Abu-Assad
starring Marina Golbahari, Arif Herati, Zubaida Sahar, Gol Rahman Ghorbandi
written and directed by Siddiq Barmak
by Walter Chaw About thirty minutes into Hany Abu-Assad's Rana's Wedding (Al Qods Fee Yom Akhar), an old Palestinian man sets a small table down outside his building in Israeli-occupied Jerusalem, places a typewriter on top of it, and watches as Rana (Clara Khoury) is almost shot by an Israeli patrol when her cell phone is briefly mistaken for a revolver. The moment isn't commented upon, and the next scene finds her wondering, as she's wondered for the first parts of the film, where her true love is on this the day that her father demands that she marry one of the suitors he's approved for her or leave for Egypt to continue her schooling. The deadline sends Rana careening across the country in an increasingly complex quest to assemble the right people together to allow her to marry the man that she loves--the one who "understands me, and puts up with me when I'm angry." The line is funny as the sentiment is familiar--it's a grace note in a picture that somehow cloaks its ferocity in a sheath of gentility. Make no mistake that not commenting on the Israeli/Palestinian situation is not the same as avoiding the Israeli/Palestinian situation; as political films go, Rana's Wedding is high among the films finding release election year 2004 (Osama, The Fog of War, Broken Wings).