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This romantic-kitsch story goes from Paris to Marseille, from Amsterdam to Morocco via Jean Genet's grave in Larache, and on to Tangiers. The movie tells the story of an Algerian-French heterosexual young man beginning a sociology study of gay islamic homosexualities and discovering gay love with a young French steward. Written by
up and out
ROAD TO LOVE is an obviously very low budget independent French film that introduces the audience to the theme of homosexuality as it is manifested among Islamic/Arab men. Writers Rémi Lange and Antoine Parlebas have created a script so natural, so sensitively real that at moments the film feels like a documentary (each of the young actors in the story bear their own names, the technique of storytelling is basically video interviews), but the impact of the move is quietly profound, without a trace of the saccharine or the gush of Hollywood films dealing with gay subject matter.
French Algerian Karim (Karim Tarek) is a student in Paris and spends his time with his girlfriend Sihem (Sihem Benamoune). He happens to view a television program about the gay life in Egypt in the 20th century, a life that allowed gay relationships and even marriages so along as the men gave up the lifestyle when they eventually married women. His interest in the subject results in a sociology project of interviewing gay Arab men to explore contemporary gay lifestyles. After a few aborted attempts (Karim is not sufficiently comfortable with the subject matter to gain the trust of his interviewees) Karim encounters Farid (Farid Tali), a gay, well-adjusted, quietly seductive handsome Algerian lad who not only agrees to be interviewed, but also finds ways to assist Karim with his project. Chemistry develops and the two depart Paris to visit Marseilles and Morocco and Karim discovers why the subject of choice fascinates him so! The beauty of this film lies in the honesty in which it is written, directed, acted, and edited. Not only are we allowed to explore a subject matter few of us knew (Islamic homosexuality history and social mores), we are also presented with one of the more tender love stories on film - tender because it is not overt but rather because it is so naturally evolved. The actors are excellent and though they feel as though they are first time, off the street recruits, they find the core of the script and make the story beautiful. In French and Arabic with English subtitles. Grady Harp
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