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Hot Docs 2021: “A Marriage”


Hot Docs 2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Can we blame an immigration officer who tries to do his or her due diligence in identifying fraud in an assigned case? With so much false information provided in order to immigrate to the Western World or Europe, embassies across the globe scramble daily. However, because of fraudulent cases, people that have genuine documents with all the supporting documents cannot prove their legitimacy due to a bad precedent being set. Therefore “A Marriage” is a documentary delivered in a timely manner for us to learn something from.

Zdenka, a Czech woman, after spending days playing Farmville on Facebook, befriends Tabish, a computer scientist living in Pakistan. Oceans apart from each other, the two develop a strong friendship that turns into mutual feelings. All that is being complicated by the Czech Republic’s immigration office that does not believe in Tabish and his intentions towards Zdenka, who happens to be wheelchair-bound. Even after getting married, the government continues to refuse Tabish entry into the EU as their only way to protect, as they believe, from “feigned marriage.” But is it really? Is Tabish a cold-blooded calculated young man whose only intention is to use Zdenka to enter the European Union?

From director Katerina Hager, “A Marriage” takes a unique approach to follow a man and a woman from their home, as she captures every intimate moment the two share. Tabish is a Muslim man from a strict cultural background, while Zdenka is a single mother from the Czech Republic. She works every day, cooks her own food, and does everything despite her sensitive situation. In the meantime, the woman continues her fight for her husband to join her. It’s a very tough situation and you can sense it. All the calls via Skype are touching and content.

With a premise worth Hollywood standards, “A Marriage” is more like a love story of two individuals from opposite backgrounds who found in each other comfort, care and love they were lacking. It’s a beautiful story that will touch your heart and soul. You will root for them as you watch them become victims of bureaucracy and mistrust of the government. Sometimes, we cannot blame them, but only if they were targeting the right individuals.

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