Although it means well, Ali’s Wedding is one of the weaker films selected for the two-week festival.
Directed by Jeffrey Walker from a script he co-wrote with Osamah Sami, the film stars Sami, Helana Sawires, Don Hany, and Ryan Corr.
The film is based on a true story and after watching the large majority of the film (it wasn’t offered as a screener link, only a P&I screening), it may have been for the best that the CTA was running late on the day of the P&I screening. In as much as it shows what Sami had to deal with while growing up, it also shows just how much sexism is still at play in religious communities.
Ali (Sami) is interested in Dianne (Sawires) but his religious parents, including cleric Mehdi (Hany) wants him to marry someone else instead. It’s one of the problems that comes with being in a religious community. Knowing how much pressure is on him, Ali lies about a test score and being accepted into a medical school. The lies eventually catch up but the damage is done.
Ali’s Wedding will screen at the Chicago International Film Festival on October 21, 2017 at 5:15 PM. Subsequent screenings will be held on October 22 and October 23.