Monday, October 20, 2008

Arranged 2007

Photo courtesy of movies.nytimes.com


This weekend I saw a beautiful, heart warming film about friendship, choices and unity. Arranged is the story of two Brooklyn schoolteachers, Rachel and Nasira; one an Orthodox Jew and the other a Syrian Muslim.

Rachel and Nasira are paired together to teach in an inner city school in New York. As one of the characters in the movie notes, "it is like the UN", so many different cultures and people to learn. The two find a commonality in their love for teaching and their imminent arranged marriages. Oddly enough, the two find despite the historic unrest between their corresponding faiths, they in fact have more in common with one another than the secular world.

It isn't a very long film, and it certainly isn't my usual deep, thought provoking film. It is however a great reminder of the gifts that come of learning, understanding and ultimately embracing other cultures. The film does an excellent job at exposing- if you will, the misconceptions about the custom of arranged marriage in each faith from a safe, unbiased distance. The only minor annoyance I took initially was the seemingly boy-crazy, bimbo-esque portrayal of the secular women in the film. I later changed my opinion. I'm now thinking that's probably exactly what dating women in their 20s, whose husbands haven't been pre-selected look like from the outside. You know what they say about perception.

I watched the film with Yael and over-protective (Yenta) mom that I am, gazed over a few times and thought, "I wonder if I could find a nice boy for...aaah forget it". I said forget it, but I'm still thinking about it. No matter what your thoughts are on the practice of arranged marriage, this is a sweet film. A refreshing spin on the usual chick flick fare. It made me smile. I hope it does the same for you. The film is available from Netflix.

-Peace and unity



9 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the subject of arranged marriage is coming up more and more as Westerners embrace Eastern thought. LATimes wrote a story on the subject and HBO is even planning a TV show on the concept:

http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/hbo-now-casting-volunteers-for-upcoming-reality-tv-show-arranged-marriage

website for the TV show: http://www.arrangedmarriagetv.com

Ms. Bar B: said...

Hey lady. You have an award over at my place so go pick it up.

fly tie said...

sounds like something i'd like. i'm a sucker for sweet films.

High Desert Diva said...

Nice review

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

I am going to put this in my netflix queue. I love film recommendations.

Kimiko said...

Going to Netflix to add it to my queue :o)

A Cuban In London said...

Hmmm... mixed feelings about arranged marriages and too little time to explain them here.

In principle, choice is better than imposition and unfortunately many arranged marriages are between men who are way past their prime and very young women who could be their granddaughters.

Greetings from London.

Motorcycle Fairings said...

sounds great! i'm a movie Addict myself

Jennifer said...

Sounds like a movie I would really like. Thanks for the review.

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