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Year: 2004
USA: Koch Lorber Films
Cast: Hiam Abbass, Makram J Khoury, Clara Khoury, Ashraf Barhoum, Eyad Sheety, Evelyne Kaplun, Julie-Anne Roth, Adnan Trabshi, Marlene Bajjali, Uri Gabriel, Alon Dahan, Robert Hoenig, Derar Sliman, Ranin Boulos, Hanna Abou-Manneh, Norman Issa, Loutof Nousser, Maisra Masri, Imad Jabrin, Ali Sliman
Director: Eran Riklis
Countries: France / Germany / Israel
Languages: Arabic / English / Hebrew / Russian / French (English subtitles)
USA: 98 mins
USA Release Date: 16 November 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
US Distributor


Mona's (Clara Khoury) wedding day is the saddest day of her life. She knows that once she crosses the border between Israel and Syria to marry Syrian TV star Tallel (Derar Sliman), she will never be allowed back to her beloved family in Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since 1967.

THE SYRIAN BRIDE is about physical, mental and emotional borders and the will to cross them. A story about a family trying to cope with its ability to draw boundaries and deal with them - focusing on Mona's sister Amal (Hiam Abbass), a modern woman trapped in a tradition and culture she wants to break out of.

Once you cross the border there is no way back and at the end of a long day, the family, the government and military officials and all those gathered on both sides of the border find themselves facing an uncertain future, trapped in No-Man's land between Israel and Syria.

THE SYRIAN BRIDE is based on 3 years of traveling to the Golan Heights, meeting the people, learning the history, getting to know the political, social and personal situation of the Druze in the Golan, taking a deeper look in to a region haunted by hostility, indifference and bureaucracy - the Middle East. To explore the complex story of women torn between families, tradition and borders, Riklis joined Palestinian-Israeli screenwriter Suha Arraf who was chosen for her knowledge of the Arab (and Druze) world while maintaining a modern, progressive point of view.

THE SYRIAN BRIDE was shot on location in the Golan Heights and in other locations in Israel. All the actors are Palestinian-Israelis, one is actually Druze (the Druze do not have a tradition of theatre and cinema), one French and one (Hiam Abbass) is Palestinian, Israeli and French.

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