Forbidden Marriages in the Holy Land: The cost of love

Forbidden Marriages in the Holy LandLove is blind, or so the saying goes. In Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, though, it is all too often not allowed to be. Director Michel Khleifi’s documentary Forbidden Marriages in the Holy Land looks at couples who have gone against the wishes of society and family members, challenging religion and state, to be together. They are “mixed” couples; couples from different religions, or in this context, from different sides of the conflict.

The film introduces the audience to eight such couples, including Palestinian and Israeli partners, Jewish and Muslim partners, and also couples who face discrimination despite sharing the same religion or being on the same side. The film is part of a series, “A Homage to Michel Khleifi”, being screened as part of the Shubbak Festival. The Palestinian director was invited to mark his 65th birthday by curating the festival’s main film programme. In this particular documentary, Khleifi introduces the audience to the complex struggles the couples face to balance their relationship with their religious, familial, political, national and cultural ties.

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