Film Archive

International Programme 2012
When Hari Got Married Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam

It’s okay when you’ve never seen your bride before the wedding. But what will she be like? Forced marriage in India as a comedy with a touch of Bollywood, featuring an enchanting hero.

When Hari Got Married

Documentary Film
75 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ritu Sarin, White Crane Films
Ritu Sarin, Tenzing Sonam
Arjun Sen
Tenzing Sonam
Tenzing Sonam
Tenzing Sonam
Saying “I love you” on the phone presupposes a personal history. But Hari has never met his future bride Suman, with whom he exchanges these tender words daily over the phone while driving his taxi over the bumpy streets of his Indian hometown at the foot of the Himalaya Mountains. It’s an arranged wedding, its history the thousand-year-old tradition behind it. Hari’s father won’t rest until his youngest son, who is already 30 after all, is finally married. He invests all his money in this project, for one thing is certain: the wedding will be colourful and expensive.
Who wants to make their father unhappy? And yet Hari has found a way to soften the tradition a bit: his mobile phone. “When you talk on the phone every day you would even fall in love with a stone”, he says in his inimitable and practical way. The usually cheerful young man’s straightforwardness is a constant surprise. And yet the closer the wedding approaches the more thoughtful and withdrawn the young man seems to be. Because he knows that Suman is not a stone and there’s a real concern that she won’t be able to handle the separation from her family. This unusual love must still pass its acid test – at the end of a long ceremony on which the bridal couple have the least influence. The story of this traditional wedding comes alive with its small signs of cautious modernisation to which Hari makes his modest contribution.
– Lars Meyer