What happens when you try to sustain an unlikely friendship of a teenaged Jewish girl and a teenaged Muslim girl against the backdrop of Tunisia during World War Two? Will the friendship last despite the religious differences? Will they both survive the war? What will happen to their loved ones? One potential solution is brought to light in Karen Albou’s film “The Wedding Song.”
“The Wedding Song” focuses in on the unlikely friendship between Nour, a 16 year old Muslim girl, and Myriam, a 16 year old Jewish girl. Nour and Myriam come from poor homes in German occupied Tunisia. They both value their friendship with each other especially since they have entered a critical time in their lives when both are about to get engaged. Myriam envies Nour’s relationship with her fiancé Khaled and is upset about her own loveless engagement to a much older and wealthier doctor. During the course of the film, Nour and Myriam’s friendship is tested as they question whether or not they can continue to be best friends when they have different religious backgrounds and fiancés who have radically different views about the war and their friendship.
Karen Albou chooses an interesting topic for her second feature film. Even though the film takes place in 1942, it still has meaning and relevance today. The bond between Nour and Myriam is the driving force behind the film and the actresses that play these characters, Olympe Borval and Lizzie Brouchere, give realistic performances. However, the structure of the film could have been tighter and some scenes were choppy or unnecessary. Despite these flaws, viewers should still give “The Wedding Song” a chance to enlighten their hearts and minds.