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Thursday, Aug. 7, 2008

Hitting the brick wall

In a little village in Bangladesh a wedding has been prepared for a couple that has never met. Nazneen's father has arranged her marriage to an older Bengali man living in London. Dressed in bridal finery, Nazneen is placed at the stern of a boat casting off from her birthplace. She looks out from under her veil with forlorn eyes at her unsmiling family watching her recede into the distance. It's a sad parting and the beginning of an uncertain future. Most of Nazneen's story, told in the sterling British production Brick Lane, takes place in a dreary London neighborhood crowded with Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigrants. Murmurs of English xenophobia against Muslims . . .

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