CFS engages a ‘Late Marriage’

Danielle Diciaccio

Zaza is handsome, intelligent and successful. Judith is beautiful and intriguing. Naturally they fall in love. The parents would never approve, so their affair is kept secret. What may seem a classic plot twist is masterfully integrated into a story of love, family and tradition in the French-Israeli co-production “Late Marriage (Hatuna Meuheret).”

Set in the émigré Georgian community of Tel Aviv, the film follows 32-year old Israeli bachelor Zaza as his family introduces him to literally hundreds of young women in efforts to arrange an appropriate marriage for him. Though he goes through the motions of match-making to appease his parents, Zaza has already found the love of his life. Unfortunately she is 34, divorced, and the mother of a six-year-old child, which makes her perfectly wrong for Zaza in the eyes of his old-world parents, who take great pains to find a suitable young, wealthy virgin for Zaza. Zaza keeps his love affair with Judith secret as he endures the opposing forces of traditional Georgian family values and true love. The film is at times both bitingly comical and intensely emotional.

“Late Marriage” has a truthful quality that stems from the personal touch of writer and director Dover Koshashvili. Like Zaza, Koshasvili is an Israeli originally from the Georgian republic in the former Soviet Union. Koshashvili’s familiarity with the issues presented give the film an honesty that makes the story utterly believable. Koshashvili even cast his own mother, Lili Koshashvili, as Zaza’s mother.

The superb performances of the cast earned “Late Marriage” ten Israeli Academy Awards. The film’s path through comic situations, torrid love scenes and cultural history presents a realistic picture of issues faced by people in every society, including the strain of choosing between what is expected of a person and what is truly desired by that person.

“Late Marriage” will be shown four times in the Connelly Center Cinema: Saturday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m., Sunday, November 5 at 3:30 and 7 p.m., and Monday, Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. The Monday night screening will feature guest speaker Eran Preis, Associate Professor in Temple University’s Department of Film and Media Arts and accomplished playwright and screenwriter. Mr. Preis will both introduce the film and lead a discussion following the screening. Admission is $3.50 for students with ID and $5 for all others.

For more information on the Cultural Film Series, call x9-4750 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, or visit the CFS website.