representing the female body in the Wedding Song

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Watching the film Wedding Song directed by Karin Albou was captivating and entertaining. However, the film also contained elements of sexual fear, moral awakening, and spiritual opposition, as well as a strong sense of feminine identity. In other words, the film exposed more than just an entertaining tale of Tunisian culture: it gave rise to a deeper understanding of subtle cultural difference and the true complexity of life for women in Tunisia. After watching the two young women struggle with the Nazi occupation, one Jewish and the other Muslim, the social tensions of World War II in northern Africa came light. The role women play in the society as well became a central focus of climactic resolve in the film, as the two women struggled to maintain a strong sense of female bonding and identity in a society that desired wholly to drive the two young women apart. The ambition and compassion shown on parts of both the women throughout the film, served to enlighten its audience on the nature of femininity in Middle Eastern culture, and the strength that women ultimately possess as a powerful source of unity and compassion for those around them. This innate sense of relationship that both women share in overcoming racial, political, and religious adversity also helped to reshape my past views of Muslim women in the context of larger society. The confident love shown throughout the film, particularly by the Muslim girl but also by her Jewish friend, reinforces a woman’s ability to overcome feminine oppression through relationship. For both women, their bodies are a target for the social and cultural tension of the times, and neither are afraid to represent themselves regardless of the way other characters and social structure direct the attention to their physical self. Beautifully done and entirely provocative, the film does a justice to the representation of the female across two different cultures. Bravo!

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