image+nation culture queer

EL HOUB (THE LOVE)

SHARIFF NASR | NETHERLANDS | 2022 | 102 MIN | ARABIC, DUTCH + ENGLISH S.-T.EN. 

Wracked with guilt over abandoning his friend Soufian and caught déshabillé with his boyfriend, Karim launches an all-out emotional assault on his close-minded parents. Refusing to leave their supply closet until they deal with the truth about his sexuality, Karim convenes with the stubborn ghosts of his younger selves.

When his parents (Slimane Dazi and Lubna Azabal) won’t budge, Karim (Fahd Larhzaoui, master of hangdog despondency) progressively ups the stakes, shutting off their water, TV, and eventually the electricity in a bid to gain their focused attention. Instead, it manages to pull others into the fray: his community, his do-nothing brother, and the affable Ghanaian boyfriend (Emmanuel Boafo) he doesn’t yet deserve. What results is both a tragic reckoning with his own culpability and a hilarious comedy of errors, kind neighbours coming to the door bringing unnecessary supplies or offering ill-informed engagement gifts. Leavened by Eternal Sunshine-like magical realism and comedic patter, this is the bracingly inventive autofiction of a Moroccan-Dutch man voluntarily trapped in a closet, the window grating like a confessional, and asking his parents for “a little understanding.” Though it may be more than they can give.

screening at Cinéma Impérial | 23 NOVEMBRE 19H

ONLINE (november 24th to 28th)