For a Kurdish Woman, No Way Out

There may be knee-slappers to be written about forced marriage, but they aren’t to be found in the goofy, slapdash “One Candle, Two Candles ….” The Kurdish filmmaker Jano Rosebiani, who directed the well-received drama “Jiyan,” about the aftermath of chemical attacks, inflicts an antic approach on the story of a teenager betrothed to a rich older man. Sparks do not fly.

Viyan (Katrin Ender), the unhappy, slack-jawed teenager, does have another suitor, a (not very good) sketch artist who is new to her Kurdish town. But her intimidatingly wealthy would-be husband, Haji Hemmo (Enwer Shekhani), insists and persists, and that pressure is applied to the rickety plotting by a cast of the comedically challenged. Other characters include a shepherd who beseeches God for new shoes and a colorfully nicknamed woman much feared by local men.

It’s a glimpse of another culture in the totally counterproductive form of confusingly wretched comedy, broken up by moments of instructive domestic tension. Mr. Rosebiani evidently wants to avoid depressing his audience while addressing a serious subject, but his aims are likely to be lost in this film’s strained mugging.

A link to the article can be found here.