The Wedding Song: The Female body & Friendship

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The Wedding Song was a very thought-provoking, encouraging, movie that brings forth the horrors that many had to undergo with the Nazi occupation of Tunisia. It affected all of the individuals who lived there, regardless of whether they were Muslim or Jewish, man or woman, child or adult. The film depicts the friendship of two young girls. The Muslim girl was named Nour and the Jewish girl, Myriam. They have a difficult time understanding the situation that they are in due to their age and lack of knowledge. I found this movie to be at times cruel and unpleasant. But at others I found it heartening, it shows the power of true friendship.
I was shocked with many of the things that took place throughout The Wedding Song, many things that we in such a privileged land don’t think about or consider. In most cases we would be led to believe that the forced marriage would occur for the Muslim woman, but it is in this case the Jewish girl. This film opened my eyes to what pain and torture young women from other cultures and different countries had to go through during this time. It also broke down many stereotypes and changed the view of Islamic women in Tunisia.
It was interesting to see how nudity and the female body played such a large role in the movie as a whole. It wasn’t used to exploit women and it wasn’t used to sexualize, it was used to create community with others, to show the holiness of the human body. But at one point in the movie Myriam is in fact turned into a sexual object. The scene that disturbed me the most was when Myriam was getting waxed before her wedding due to the preference that her husband had. In this way she wasn’t treated as a human being, but a sexual object. Her feelings are disregarded and her soon-to-be husband gets to choose how he wants her.
My favorite scene in the movie is soon after Nour and Myriam get in an argument about their current situation, seeing as though Myriam was able to go to school, and Nour was not. This upset Nour, eventually she was told by her fiancé that Myriam was wrong in her beliefs. She was told that she should no longer speak to her. The two of them spot one another in the bathhouse, shortly after it is raided by soldiers who are ready to arrest anyone who isn’t Muslim. Nour grabs a hijab and throws it to Myriam, saying that she is a sister, she is a Muslim. The veil wasn’t used as a symbol of oppression, but as a symbol of power and resistance. She saves her best friend and they realize that their friendship is stronger than anything that they’ve ever encountered.
I overall truly appreciated this movie, even though at the beginning it was a difficult concept to grasp. But it also gave me an understanding of how people in other countries suffered in a way that one living in America could never comprehend. The discrimination towards a select group of people in this case of the Jews disgusted me. But the fact that these girls were able to stick together gave me hope. In many ways these young girls were set against one another, but that didn’t stop them. Even when things became more difficult and they were each married their friendship surpassed my expectations. In the end it shows how strong a friendship can be and how hardships can essentially bring two people closer together. This film was heartwarming and mind-twisting and it gave me hope for humanity as a whole and relationships all together.

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