Valeria Is Getting Married (2023)

Directed by Michal Vinik

Christina is a Ukrainian woman who moved to Israel through a ‘bride-to-order’ kind of deal. Compared to her life back in Ukraine, life in Israel is great for Christina. She works in a beauty salon, earns her own money, and loves Israel. Her Israeli husband Michael is also satisfied with this marriage. He is happy that he found a woman who can live with him. In fact, he is so satisfied that he starts his own little business scouting for Ukrainian brides for other Israeli men. Michael’s recent matchmaking is a special one—the bride’s name is Valeria, and she’s Christina’s younger sister. Michael went out of his way and found the best man he could get for her. His name is Eitan, and while he may not be the most handsome guy in the country, he is a good-hearted, generous man. However, Valeria is different to her older sister. And the whole delicate balance is at risk.

Seattle International Film Festival 2023: Film #12

Oh, how I wish the final shot in the car wasn't included, so viewers would be left pondering the shot of Michael looking down at Christina, and thus leaving it deliciously ambiguous whether he plans to deport her before she reaches the crucial one-year immigration cut-off point. More generally, though, whilst tI'm sure many feel might feel the emotions are underplayed in this film, what I saw is a highly convincing portrait of suffocation and manipulation as it, perhaps, happens every day. The performances by Michael and Christina are near pitch-perfect, and the cast in this compact chamber piece only let down by the overly-beta Etian.