My big, fat, Jewish-Kurdish wedding?

In a new comedy by Jay Jonroy, a Jewish boy and Kurdish girl consider whose religion should reign as they plan to marry.

By TOM TUGEND
July 18, 2007 08:50
2 minute read.
david lyla 88 298

david lyla 88 298. (photo credit: Newroz Films Release)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Nice Jewish boy in Brooklyn dumps domineering Jewish fiancée when he falls for lovely Kurdish Muslim girl. Parents and relatives on both sides are horrified, but are reconciled at raucous interfaith wedding. That, in a thimble, is the plotline of David & Layla, the umpteenth updated version of Romeo and Juliet, or, if you will, Abie's Irish Rose. (Why is it almost always Jewish boy and shiksa and not Jewish girl and goy, but never mind.) What saves the film from triteness is the loving insight it provides into the joys and sufferings of the Kurdish people. The Kurds, like another Near Eastern tribe whose name slips my mind, seem to have been handpicked by their deity for endless miseries, but defiantly preserve their humor and high spirits. The main purveyor of high spirits is Layla, who moonlights as an exotic but chaste nightclub dancer, while awaiting deportation as an illegal immigrant. Portrayed by Shiva Rose, a smashing beauty of mixed Irish and Persian parentage, one wonders what she sees in the rather nebbishe David (David Moscow), but go figure love. David's parents fall somewhat short of the Jewish ideal. Despite his many infirmities, father Mel pursues rather weird sexual adventures, at home and away. Mother Judith may be the last Jewish maternal stereotype who, when informed that a friend's son has an Oedipus complex, utters, "Oedipus, Schmodipus, as long as he loves his mother." That one must date back to the time some Viennese wit told it to Sigmund Freud for the first time. Of course, the path to the altar is not without obstacles. We won't talk about David's vasectomy, which he underwent at the urging of his ex-fiancée, but we have to face the sensitive issue of conversion, Who of the two should convert to the other's faith? Layla makes the, I guess, sensible point that if she converts "I have to jump into a pool and follow 613 laws," while all David has to do is repeat once "Allah is God and Mohammed is his prophet." Fortunately, since David has already been circumcised, that problem is out of the way. All such niggling aside, if the goal of Jay Jonroy, the film's writer, director and producer, was to give Americans a glimpse into the lives of his fellow Kurds in a painless lesson, he has done the job. Jonroy is a Kurdish refugee from northern Iraq, who fled the murderous regime of Saddam Hussein, some of whose atrocities are briefly depicted in the movie. In their religion, Kurds practice a form of Islam lite, which Jonroy compares to Conservative/Reform Judaism vis-à-vis Orthodoxy. In many other respects, judging from David & Layla, Kurds are not unlike Jews in their hospitality, love of food, vigorous wedding dancing, and various meshugas. Scattered throughout the countries of the Near and Middle East, distrusted everywhere, some 35 million Kurds have longed for centuries to establish their own country, but it remains a far-off dream. David & Layla opens July 20 in the US. Release dates have yet to be announced here. For additional background on the film, visit www.davidandlayla.com.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Sarah Silverman
August 26, 2014
Jewish women take home gold at 2014 Emmys

By JTA