A man forces his family to come to grips with identity in this emotional LGBTQ+ film.
Karim is a Moroccan-born Dutch man who comes from a traditional family. However, since being a child, he has not been following his family’s traditions. He is gay but has yet to reveal the truth to his family. However, he finally decides to come out to them. When he arrives at his parents’ home, he reveals the secret to his parents, who right away disapproves and kicks him out. However, Karim decides to take it a step further and lock himself in the closet under the stairs.
There, Karim begins to feel repressed memories from childhood and slowly begins to confront his own demons while attempting to convince his parents to accept him. The news begins to get worse as the community around them begin to wonder what is going on as well as Karim’s younger brother Redouan, who denounces the one he used to look up to. When Karim’s boyfriend Kofi enters the picture, things finally come to a head and the family soon finds themselves forced to decide whether to accept Karim or shun him forever.
Shariff Nasr helms and co-writes this film that doesn’t rely on stereotypes when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, but an emotional tale of a man coming out to his conservative traditional family and the repercussions both he and his family must endure. The film’s combination of present-day and flashbacks give us a full understanding of our central character Karim, played by an excellent Fahd Larhzaoui.
The film opens with Karim finally coming out to his parents, Abbas and Fatima, who are at first quiet then demand he leave. It is when Karim locks himself in the closet where things really start to pick up. What’s interesting is that Nasr opts to have the film become a character study for Karim, as we see him as a child worried about being berated by his father then we see how his relationship with his mother, who forces him to be with girls, takes an effect on his psyche.
While it’s mostly emotional, we do see Karim at times in happy mode, especially when it comes to his relationship with Ghanian expatriate Kofi, played by Emmanuel Boafo. However, due to the overwhelming pressure of the Moroccan community in the area as well as someone close to him who was also gay had died, he fears he must hide his relationship with Kofi at certain times. The coming out even causes a massive rift between Karim and his brother, who resorts to homophobic slurs and biases. The final ten minutes of the film become the most tense and have to be seen.
El Houb (The Love) is a gripping and emotional character study of one man and how his coming out impact both he and his family, all driven by amazing performances from the cast.
WFG RATING: A
Uncork’d Entertainment and Dark Star Pictures present a BIND/VRPO production. Director: Sharrif Nasr. Producers: Piet-Harm Sterk and Joram Willink. Writers: Shariff Nasr and Philip Delmaar. Cinematography: Joris Kerbosch. Editing: Michiel Boesveldt.
Cast: Fahd Larhzaoui, Lubna Azabal, Slimane Dazi, Sabri Saddik, Shad Issa Abdullah, Emmanuel Boafo, Yahya Gaier, Britte Lagcher, Nasrdin Dchar, Walid Bemnbarek.
The film is released on Digital on April 4 with a theatrical release date of April 7.