Love Conquers All, Sex is Cheating & Other Myths...

If it's Spring in NYC, it's definitely time for the Tribeca Film Festival and being a good Manhattanite, as well as someone positively enchanted by the movies, I attended of course. This year, I was blown away by the selections of World Cinema available, though most would not have known there were amazing films from Egypt, Israel and Qatar in the festival had it been for the mainstream media. I could go on and on about my beloved Arab cinema, but since June is approaching and the powers that run this blog have informed us that our posts should be about weddings, I am singling out two films which dealt with very different views on love and what makes a good marriage. Yes, I'm talking marriages instead of weddings... Because after the lavish, fun filled wedding comes the really hard stuff -- staying married of course!

The first film I viewed at TFF was Last Night, starring Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, Eva Mendes, Griffin Dunne and a newfound source of lust for me, French actor Guillaume Canet. Sitting in the dark Chelsea movie theater at 2 in the afternoon, during a Press & Industry screening, I felt like I was rediscovering NYC through the eyes of the characters these actors so brilliantly portray. In Last Night, Iranian born filmmaker Massy Tadjedin asks the viewer for their own personal definition of cheating, and never actually provides an obvious answer. The result is a smoldering, perfectly filmed, strong film relying heavily on our own idea of what constitutes an affair: is it worst to sleep with someone outside your marriage, or to create a strong connection with someone other than your spouse?

It's films like Last Night that truly fascinate me because even if you don't identify with the characters, don't care for the performances or appreciate the story -- all of which absolutely worked for me -- the subject matter will still provide endless hours of discussions. You can't just walk away from the film and dismiss it. In fact, I caught up with a world-renowned film critic a few days after viewing the film and while he seemed to put it down at first thought, he then spent half an hour explaining the deepest meanings hidden within it. When all was said and done, he had to admit to the film being "very interesting and thought-provoking". I knew my job there was done!

The last film I watched as part of TFF was not on the big screen but on my laptop, as part of our press library, and once again allowed me to make my own decisions. In case you haven't noticed, I do enjoy a little thinking with my movies. Love During Wartime is a documentary by Swedish filmmaker Gabriella Bier about real life couple Jasmin and Osama -- she an Israeli and he a Palestinian. Married and both adoring of each other but also deeply loved and supported by their own families, the couple face an uphill battle from the Israeli and Palestinian authorities. Jasmin can't live in Ramallah with Osama, and he cannot even cross into Israel.

When Jasmin, a dancer, moves to Germany, Osama, a sculptor, is again met with resistance by the German authorities. Love During Wartime ultimately asks the question "Can love conquer all?" The answer is provided by the film's ending, but my own conversations went further, into questioning whether two people in love have the right to involve their entire families and friends into a battle that makes even the winner a little bit poorer for having fought it...

Now that I've shared these two gems, what is your own personal favorite film which redefines the institution of marriage? Do share, because you know, sharing IS caring!

All images courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival and


  1. What provocative movies. They're both going on my to-see list.

  2. Thanks Suzie!

    Last Night is in limited release and out right now, in the US. For Love During Wartime you might have to wait a little bit longer, but totally worth the wait!

    Ciao and thanks for stopping by!


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