Peace After Marriage: sexual jihad and Israeli-Palestinian conflict in New York
by Laura Nanchino
- The cosmopolitan comedy by Jordanian-American director Ghazi Albuliwi drew wide attention at its opening at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Brussels on Friday
Having recently won the Filmgoers' Award at the Cinemed festival in Montpellier, the cosmopolitan comedy by Jordanian-American director Ghazi Albuliwi, Peace after Marriage [+see also:
film profile], opened to wide attention at the Mediterranean Film Festival in Brussels Festival on Friday.
Peace after Marriage, also called Only in New York, is the tale of a quest for love pursued by Arafat (Ghazi Albuliwi), an Arab of Palestinian origin in his thirties, living in New York. Living with his parents (Hiam Abbas and Hany Kamal), who despair of ever seeing him marry and try to influence fate by organizing arranged encounters, Arafat loses hope and consoles himself with inflatable dolls or adult websites which have become a real obsession he can no longer resist. In an effort to sort himself out and on the advice of a friend (Thom Bishops), he decides to enter into a marriage of convenience, which will allow him to assert his independence, earn some money and - possibly - finally settle down with a woman. But the lucky girl (Einat Tubi) is an Israeli Jew, making the conflict between their cultures and families even more difficult...
For his second feature-length film after West Bank Brooklyn which came out in 2002, Ghazi Albuliwi successfully meets the challenge of making the viewer laugh while playing subtly on the politically correct ("This is the first time the sperm of a Palestinian has caused deaths in Israel," comments Arafat), and New York, Palestinian, Israeli, Jewish and Arab clichés. This France-Turkey-United States co-production is an explosive cocktail which would even have director and actor Ghazi Albuliwi pass inspection as a Palestinian Woody Allen, suggests the Israeli newspaper Hareetz. And which could even enable audiences to view the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a different light: "I'm in favour of a sexual jihad. I think there should be enormous orgies between Arabs and Jews," explained the director at the film's première at the Abu Dhabi festival…
Produced by Good Lap Production and Peace After Marriage LLC, Peace After Marriage is currently in competition for several awards including the Jury's Prize, Audience Prize and Cineuropa Prize, and will soon continue its tour of international festivals.
(Translated from French)