A dumped Israeli bride decides to go through with the wedding in the belief that a groom will show up. And a Senegalese domestic worker is thrown into despair by the life she had longed for.
THE WEDDING PLAN (2017) on iTunes and Amazon. After her fiancé calls off the wedding with only a month’s notice, Michal (Noa Koler), an ultra-Orthodox Israeli woman who runs a mobile petting zoo, continues with her wedding arrangements and books a reception hall for the last night of Hanukkah in the belief that a groom will appear by the chosen date as a kind of miracle. For a while the most likely candidate seems to be a nonreligious pop star (Oz Zehavi). But the director Rama Burshtein keeps the audience guessing until the end. “This prickly, delicately layered film,” Ben Kenigsberg wrote in The New York Times, “has the tangled ambiguity of a Talmudic lesson,” managing “to be respectful of traditions while at the same time feeling modern, even progressive.” The borderline surreal finale, he added, is “a mystical touch — another tipoff that this ordinary-sounding movie is actually pretty special.”
BLACK GIRL (1966) on the Criterion Channel on FilmStruck. Diouana (Mbissine Thérèse Diop), a young domestic worker from Senegal, is hired as a nanny and housekeeper for a middle-class family in France, where the drudgery drives her into depression — and worse — in Ousmane Sembène’s first feature. “The force of Mr. Sembène’s art — the sheer beauty that is the most striking feature of his early films — lies in his humanism,” A. O. Scott wrote in The Times on the film’s 50th anniversary. “The task ‘Black Girl’ sets itself is not just to note the facts of Diouana’s life but also to assert her visibility, to ensure that she is seen. Several years before the phrase ‘black is beautiful’ entered the lexicon of American racial politics, ‘Black Girl’ insisted as much from its very opening frames.”
What’s on TV
TONI ERDMANN (2016) 7:15 p.m. on Starz Cinema. Ines (Sandra Hüller), an executive at a global consulting firm in Bucharest, receives a surprise visit from her estranged father, Winfried (Peter Simonischek), an ill-kempt music teacher and prankster who is everything that his conformist daughter is not. But when she sends him back home to Germany, he reappears as “Toni Erdmann” — an alter ego in a stringy black wig, bad suits and joke-shop fake teeth who shows up wherever he might cause his daughter the most embarrassment. Maren Ade’s Oscar nominee is “by a wide margin the funniest almost-three-hour German comedy you will ever see,” A. O. Scott wrote in The Times.
DIANA, HER STORY 8 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). In a series of 1992 interviews, at a time when she was trying to reinvent her public persona, Princess Diana speaks about her life and troubled marriage.
GAME FACE 9 p.m. on Syfy. Special effects all-stars from “Face Off” compete for a $10,000 prize in each episode, starting with “Star Trek”-inspired cyborgs.
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