Wedding in Galilee calls for justice, but also for understanding. – Peter Wollen


Wed. Oct. 7, 7:15pm at Cinemapolis


Written and directed by Michel Khleifi. Music by Jean-Marie Sénia. Cinematography by Walther van den Ende, Filmed in the Palestinian territories, France, and Belgium. In Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish. Starring Mohamad Ali El Akili as the Mukhtar, Bushra Karaman as the Mother, Makram Khoury as The Governor, Youssef Abou Warda as Bacem, Anna Condo as the Bride. Nazih Akleh as the Groom. 113 minutes (US). 100 minutes (Israel).


Wedding in Galilee

Wedding in Galilee

Michel Khleifi’s classic 1987 film uses touches of humor to dramatize difficulties encountered by a Palestinian mukhtar (village leader) and others in planning a lavish wedding for the mukhtar’s son. The problem: The village is governed by the Israeli military and is under curfew, while traditional lavish weddings are all night affairs.

Wedding in Galilee (Arabic title transliterated as Urs fi al-Jalil) has been lauded for its nuanced representation of both Palestinian and Israeli characters and for its depiction of women in a village society.  Winner of the Cannes International Critics Prize & many other awards.

Khleifi is a Palestinian born in Nazareth who has lived in Belgium since 1970. Wedding in Galilee is celebrated as the first major feature film made by a Palestinian about Palestine and thus is considered the first in the New Wave of independent Palestinian cinema.


Peter Wollen. Aug. 20, 2014. BBC2 Film Club (video intro and review).

Ella Shohat. 1988. Middle East Research and Education Project. MER 154.

Mike Lorefice. February 7, 2004. Urs al-jalil.

Anna Ball. Between a Postcolonial Nation and Fantasies of the Feminine: The Contested Visions of Palestinian Cinema. 33 pages. Camera Obscura.

AWARDS: (award list courtesy of Wikipedia)

  • International Critics Prize, Cannes, 1987
  • Golden Shell at San Sebastian International Film Festival, 1987
  • André Cavens Award, given by the Belgian Film Critics Association, 1987
  • Tanit d’or at the Carthage Film Festival, 1988
  • Joseph Plateau Awards, 1988