In­vi­ta­tion to ride

Joondalup Times - - FILM -

LOVE, life and fam­ily me­an­der across the screen in An­nemarie Jacir’s beau­ti­fully re­alised Pales­tinian road movie Wa­jib – The Wed­ding In­vi­ta­tion.

Wa­jib means ‘duty’ and there are all man­ner of duty and cus­toms ob­served herein, from the end­less salu­ta­tions and shows of re­spect to the rit­ual that forms the ba­sis of the film.

Ar­chi­tect Shadi (Saleh Bakri) has re­turned from Rome, where he lives with his Pales­tinian girl­friend, to Nazareth where his sis­ter Amal (Maria Zriek) is to be mar­ried.

Ac­cord­ing to tra­di­tion, Shadi and his di­vorced dad, Abu Shadi (Mo­ham­mad Bakri), must drive around town de­liv­er­ing wed­ding in­vi­ta­tions.

The viewer buck­les into an old Volvo for this lowoc­tane but end­lessly re­veal­ing ride among fam­ily and friends.

There are plenty of cul­tural and personal col­li­sions here, won­der­fully and touch­ingly il­lu­mi­nated by the real-life fa­ther and son leads. Who, af­ter all, can nig­gle quite like a par­ent, or con­versely a child?

It’s quickly ev­i­dent these prob­lems are in­her­ent to ev­ery fam­ily from Ice­land to Da­m­as­cus and ev­ery­where in be­tween, and in much the same way.

Of course, a story about Pales­tini­ans find­ing their way in Is­raeli-oc­cu­pied land has ex­tra lay­ers of ten­sion, but we come to see many of the strug­gles depicted as univer­sal ones.

Per­haps more tellingly, worldly direc­tor Jacir, a Pales­tinian raised in Saudi Ara­bia and ed­u­cated in New York, looks at the drifts that have hap­pened across the world through glob­al­i­sa­tion.

Mo­hammed Bakri and Saleh Bakri in Wa­jib – The Wed­ding In­vi­ta­tion.

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