You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kebab Connection

Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for "the liberation of Kurdistan." The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made videotapes for a suitable bride from back home. After choosing a beautiful, sexy girl guaranteed to be "a virgin and a patriot," Cheto and his encouraging buddies are dismayed to see her homely sister Mina (Marina Kobakhidze) turn up at the airport in her place.

With:
Cheto ..... Georges Corraface Mina ..... Marina Kobakhidze Christine ..... Stephanie Lagarde Uncle Ismet ..... Tuncel Kurtiz Machko ..... Fatah Soltani Leila ..... Schahla Aalam Misto Video ..... Bruno Lopez An insider's view of how the Kurdish community lives in Paris, "Kebab Connection" comically lifts the veil on a colorful group of characters and their bizarrely incoherent ideas about combining the personal and the political. This Film du Rivage production, shot with more good humor than style by Kurdish expert Hiner Saleem ("Shero"), makes for amusing and informative viewing. It could be a good choice for smaller fests and specialized TV markets. The funny original title, "Vive la mariee ... et la liberation du Kurdistan" (Long Live the Bride ... and the Liberation of Kurdistan), under which title has been released in France, is actually much more representative than the catchy English-lingo sales title.

Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made videotapes for a suitable bride from back home. After choosing a beautiful, sexy girl guaranteed to be “a virgin and a patriot,” Cheto and his encouraging buddies are dismayed to see her homely sister Mina (Marina Kobakhidze) turn up at the airport in her place.

At first Cheto refuses to wed the unordered girl, but pressure from Uncle Ismet (Turkish thesp Tuncel Kurtiz) and the rest of his family forces him to go through with a spectacular wedding. Here film shifts its p.o.v. sympathetically to Mina, a country girl with braids and red circles of rouge on her cheeks. Totally humiliated by Cheto’s ill treatment, which increases after their marriage, she gradually absorbs the feminist ideas of Leila (Schahla Aalam) and the other women in the group. Mina’s self-liberation and Cheto’s comeuppance combine in a satisfying happy ending.

Saleem’s perspective on these nostalgic Kurds (pic tells us there are 100,000 living in Paris) ranges from understanding to distanced. It is refreshing, for once, to see Western culture acknowledged to have a civilizing influence on certain native attitudes — in this case, the macho view of women. The film also openly criticizes the ham-handed terror tactics used by the militants to exact a monthly “tax” from Kurdish businessmen and merchants in the name of their worthy cause.

The versatile Corraface fits the main role perfectly, showing Cheto as caught between two cultures and perpetually uncertain about what behavior to go for. Young Georgian thesp Kobakhidze makes a dignified Mina, shedding her gold tooth and peasant clothes as her self-confidence grows. Though it’s hard to believe she could make so much progress in just a year, her efforts have the viewer’s sympathy.

What the technical work lacks in finesse it makes up for in bringing out the colorful, often kitsch side of this Kurdish subculture.

Kebab Connection

(COMEDY-DRAMA -- FRENCH)

Production: An AMLF release (in France) of a les Films du Rivage production. Produced by Marc Ruscart. (International sales: Studio Canal Plus.) Directed, written by Hiner Saleem. Technical adviser, Bertrand Tavernier.

Crew: Camera (color), Valerie Le Gurun; editor, Anna Ruiz; music, Saleem; production designer, Jean-Marc Tran; costume designer, Claire Risterucci, Muriel Senaux; sound supervisor, Frederic Ullman. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 23, 1998. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: Cheto ..... Georges Corraface Mina ..... Marina Kobakhidze Christine ..... Stephanie Lagarde Uncle Ismet ..... Tuncel Kurtiz Machko ..... Fatah Soltani Leila ..... Schahla Aalam Misto Video ..... Bruno Lopez An insider's view of how the Kurdish community lives in Paris, "Kebab Connection" comically lifts the veil on a colorful group of characters and their bizarrely incoherent ideas about combining the personal and the political. This Film du Rivage production, shot with more good humor than style by Kurdish expert Hiner Saleem ("Shero"), makes for amusing and informative viewing. It could be a good choice for smaller fests and specialized TV markets. The funny original title, "Vive la mariee ... et la liberation du Kurdistan" (Long Live the Bride ... and the Liberation of Kurdistan), under which title has been released in France, is actually much more representative than the catchy English-lingo sales title.

More Film

  • 'The Party's Just Beginning' Review: Karen

    Tribeca Film Review: 'The Party's Just Beginning'

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

  • Tiffany Haddish CinemaCon

    CinemaCon Winners & Losers: Drunk Mark Wahlberg, Terrific Tiffany Haddish, Missing MoviePass

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

  • Kin James Franco

    'Kin' First Trailer Shows a Villainous James Franco in Sci-Fi Thriller

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

  • Taron Egerton Jamie Foxx

    Taron Egerton-Jamie Foxx's Tights-Free 'Robin Hood' Closes CinemaCon

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

  • Tribeca Film Festival Awards 2018: 'Diane,'

    Jeffrey Wright, Alia Shawkat, 'Diane' Win Awards at Tribeca Film Festival

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

  • Armando Iannucci

    'Veep' Creator Armando Iannucci to Direct 'In Too Deep' for Levantine Films (EXCLUSIVE)

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

  • Blake Jenner’s Film ‘Billy Boy’ Gets

    Blake Jenner’s Film ‘Billy Boy’ Gets Release Date, Trailer (Watch)

    Story starts off around Cheto (George Corraface), a good-looking militant-in-exile in Paris who belongs to a motley political group struggling for “the liberation of Kurdistan.” The time has come to take a wife. With supreme hypocrisy, he continues to see his French girlfriend, Christine (Stephanie Lagarde), who works at the immigration office, while scanning home-made […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content