Screened as part of NZIFF 2018

Wajib – The Wedding Invitation 2017

Directed by Annemarie Jacir

A traditional family wedding in Palestine puts strain on the relationship between an old school father and his cosmopolitan expat son in this wry family drama.

Palestine In Arabic with English subtitles
96 minutes DCP




Ossama Bawardi


Antoine Héberlé


Jacques Comets

Production designer

Nael Kanj

Costume designer

Hamada Atallah


Carlos Garcia


Mohammad Bakri (Abu Shadi)
Saleh Bakri (Shadi)
Maria Zreik (Amal)
Rana Alamuddin (Fadya)


London 2017; Rotterdam
Sydney 2018

In this astute and delightfully humorous urban road movie, which winds through the streets of Nazareth, a father and son observe centuries-old tradition and hand-deliver wedding invitations. Shadi, an architect whose colourful fashion sensibility makes his father Abu Shadi nervous, has returned home from Italy for his sister’s upcoming nuptials.

Annemarie Jacir’s (Salt of this Sea) third feature is an absorbing ride. There are constant shifts in the exchanges between the estranged, cosmopolitan son and his crotchety, pragmatic father as each encounter with invitation recipients unlocks past family tensions or reveals the differences in their lived Palestinian experience. Shadi’s frustration with the old man’s over-commitment to ‘duty’ (wajib in Arabic), is both provoked and countered by Abu Shadi’s fear that their culture and way of life are disappearing. Jacir has a great ear for dialogue and extracts terrific performances from real-life father and son Mohammad and Saleh Bakri, whose charismatic on-screen relationship is both relatable and highly enjoyable. — Clare Stewart