A Wedding (2016 film)

A Wedding (French: Noces) is a 2016 internationally co-produced drama film directed by Stephan Streker.[2] It was screened in the Discovery section at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival.[3] It received eight nominations at the 8th Magritte Awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Streker, and won two.[4] It is based on the honour killing of Sadia Sheikh.[5] Streker described the film as a Greek tragedy.[1]

A Wedding
A Wedding 2016 poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed byStephan Streker
Written byStephan Streker
StarringLina El Arabi
Release date
  • 24 August 2016 (2016-08-24)
Running time
95 minutes


A Belgian-Pakistani woman named Zahira Kazim, now 18 years old, breaks up with her boyfriend (who is also of Pakistani ancestry) when he says he does not want a child after she becomes pregnant. Her parents, meanwhile, ask her to choose between three candidates for marriage, all based in Pakistan, and she is uninterested in all of them. Instead she falls in love with a Belgian man, Pierre, and decides to get an abortion in the Netherlands after initially being unable to go through with one. Her friend Aurore and Aurore's father André help her as the relationship between herself and her family deteriorates over their attempts to make her agree to a forced marriage: she moves in with Aurore after her father starts a fight at her school. Zahira comes back to her family after her Barcelona-based sister, Hina Kazim, pleads with her to come back, and she goes through with a wedding to a French-speaking Pakistani man over Skype. However she leaves again when told she will fly to Pakistan for a second wedding and that Hina will go to Pakistan instead of returning to Spain; Zahira spends time with Pierre. Her father, Mansoor Kazim, experiences medical problems due to the stress. Zahira comes back to her house one last time to say goodbye, but her brother Amir Kazim fatally shoots her, an act of sororicide and an honour killing, whilst hugging her. As photographs of crime scene exhibits are on the screen, a voiceover of a farewell letter addressed to her family occurs.


  • Lina El Arabi as Zahira Kazim
    • Streker described her as an "Antigone of her time" and "a character enriched by two cultures that, rather than cancelling one another out, add to one another."[1] She is a Muslim and remains so even after eloping with Pierre.[1]
  • Sebastien Houbani [fr] as Amir Kazim
  • Babak Karimi as Mansoor Kazim
    • Jay Weissberg of Variety stated that Streker "also scrupulously tries to present Mansoor as a loving father tied to a rigid code of honor which will destroy his entire family if shirked" but that he "succeeds only fitfully."[6] Karimi never speaks in any of his native languages in this film and is the only actor with this situation.[1]
  • Neena Kulkarni as Yelda Kazim
    • Kulkarni stated that Yelda is "not a villain at all" but instead as someone "caught in circumstances" and "stuck to her fanaticism or beliefs."[7] Kulkarni added that "despite staying in [Belgium], [Yelda] doesn't integrate into that country at all."[7]
  • Olivier Gourmet as André
  • Alice de Lencquesaing as Aurore
  • Zacharie Chasseriaud [fr] as Pierre
  • Aurora Marion as Hina Kazim
    • The Sheikh case did not involve an older sister; the writer created an older sister character for the fictional story.[8]
  • Harmandeep Palminder as Adnan
  • Sandor Funtek as Frank

The actor playing the imam character was in real life an imam and was of Pakistani heritage.[1]


It is a co-production of the following: the Belgian firms Daylight and Minds Meet, the French firm Formosa Productions, the Luxembourgish firm Tarantula Films, and the Pakistani firm Bodhicitta Works.[9]

Streker stated that he did not feel inspired by the Sheikh murder until his discovery that the killer, her brother, loved his sister. As it was based on a real case, a lawyer reviewed the script to ensure that it was compliant with Belgian law.[8] Streker added that he did not want to have obvious villains, quoting Jean Renoir, who stated, in Streker's words "there were never any bad guys in his films because each of them always had his reasons."[1]

Streker used a consultant to ensure depictions of Pakistani culture were accurate. The final actress he cast was El Arabi even though he initially believed the role would be the first one filled. Desiring an "Elizabeth Taylor" for the Zahira role,[1] he specified this aspect in capital letters, and added that she was "une des plus grandes actrices qui ait jamais existé" ("one of the greatest actresses who ever existed").[8] He also wanted someone who was Francophone, about 18 years old, and a person who would be credible as a Belgian Pakistani. Streker stated that he had such specific requirements that he could not find an actress of actual Pakistani heritage; instead he chose an actress of Moroccan heritage.[8] He initially did not especially notice El Arabi but some videotapes of her already done convinced him she could fill the role, and he ordered a second audition for her. He stated that in every scene, Zahira's point of view was in the opening and ending.[1] As part of the filming she had to learn some Urdu.[8]

Streker is personally friends with Gourmet and already knew him. He learned about Houbani through one of his acquaintances. In regards to Karimi, Streker decided to use him after he found out that Karimi, who he was familiar with from watching the film A Separation, spoke French.[8]


The film premiered on 24 August 2016,[10] in the Festival du Film francophone d'Angoulême [fr] and was also scheduled to show in the Toronto International Film Festival.[9]


Weissberg stated that despite the fact the director "strives hard to offer a balanced view of a traditional family in Belgium forcing their daughter into an arranged marriage, yet in the end he delivers an issue-of-the-week cautionary tale that, though well-made, hits far too many expected buttons."[6] However he stated that the performance of the lead actress compensated for this issue.[6]

The Hollywood Reporter concluded it is "A probing family drama carried by a strong multicultural cast."[11]


Award / Film Festival Category Recipients and nominees Result
Istanbul International Film Festival FACE Award Nominated
Lumières Awards[12] Best French-Language Film Nominated
Magritte Awards[4] Best Film Nominated
Best Director Stephan Streker Nominated
Best Supporting Actress Aurora Marion Won
Best Screenplay Stephan Streker Nominated
Best Production Design Catherine Cosme Nominated
Best Costume Design Sophie Van Den Keybus Won
Best Sound Olivier Ronval and Michel Schillings Nominated
Best Editing Jérôme Guiot Nominated
Rotterdam International Film Festival MovieZone Award Nominated

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Press Kit" (PDF). A Wedding team. Retrieved 1 December 2019. - French version
  2. ^ "Souvenir and A Wedding: Two Luxembourgish titles at Toronto". Cineuropa. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  3. ^ "A Wedding". TIFF. 13 September 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Belga (3 February 2018). "Cérémonie des Magritte: Carton plein pour "Insyriated", élu meilleur film, qui remporte 6 distinctions". La Libre Belgique (in French). Retrieved 4 February 2018.
  5. ^ Laurent, Patrick (7 March 2017). ""Noces", le film belge signé Stephan Streker à ne pas manquer". La DH (in French). Retrieved 1 February 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Weissberg, Jay (6 November 2016). "Film Review: 'A Wedding'". Variety. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Neena Kulkarni on her long acting journey: 'You have to be a caterpillar to become a butterfly'". Scroll.in. 8 October 2018. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d e f "Stephan Streker, l'interview pour "Noces"". RTBF (in French). 10 March 2017. En fait l’histoire vraie à l’origine ne m’intéressait pas [...] j’ai appris que le frère adorait sa sœur.[...]vous avez choisi une Française d’origine marocaine, pas une Pakistanaise.[...]Le problème c’est que j’avais mis un cahier des charges un peu élevé.[...]Je veux une actrice de 18 ans, débutante absolue, crédible en pakistanais, francophone, et j’ai mis qui soit comme Elisabeth Taylor ".[...]En majuscules. Pourquoi ?[...]Pour Olivier Gourmet,[...] c’est mon ami [...]Par exemple le personnage de la grande sœur, extrêmement important dans "Noces", n’existe pas dans la vraie vie.[...]on a fait lire la ligne du temps des événements et tout le dossier judiciaire par un avocat, qui a lu mon scénario et qui nous a dit si effectivement on était dans le cadre de la loi ou pas. On était dans le cadre de la loi.
  9. ^ a b "Première internationale à Toronto pour "Noces" du réalisateur belge Stephan Streker". RTBF. 24 August 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  10. ^ "Noces". Festival du Film francophone d'Angoulême [fr]. Archived from the original on 1 September 2016. Retrieved 1 December 2019.
  11. ^ Mintzner, Jordan (19 October 2016). "'A Wedding' ('Noces'): Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 November 2019.
  12. ^ "Lumiere Awards, France". IMDb. 30 May 2018.

Further readingEdit


External linksEdit