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Road to Love

Karim Tarek , Sihem Benemoune , Remi Lange  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Karim Tarek, Sihem Benemoune, Abdellah Taia, Mustapha Khaddar, Farid Tali
  • Directors: Remi Lange
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Water Bearer Films, Inc
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 70 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000305ZW0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,791 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Review

THE ROAD TO LOVE uncovers the complicated and often contradictory attitudes toward homosexuality in Islam. --The New York Times

Achingly romantic! The chemistry between the two actors is overwhelming. --Toronto Independent

Product Description

This romantic drama follows a young and apparently straight French-Algerian student, Karim, on a sociological quest to find gay Muslims. Through is investigations, the likable and handsome Karim meets a number of gay Arabs, from self focused Youssef to sexually aggressive Mustapha. It is handsome flight attendant Farid who leaves a lasting impression. While the friendship between Karim and Farid slowly intesifies, Karim is forced to confront the fact that his investigations will not only reveal the fascinating history and culture of gay Muslims, but also his own homosexuality.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
(10)
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sensitive, compelling story about some Islamic gays November 21, 2004
2001's "Tarik El Hob" (The Road To Love) is billed as a "Drama" but views more like a documentary, with the subject being homosexuality among French-Algerians. Karin is a student living with his girlfriend in Paris, who decides to tackle a sociology video project on that topic, and seeks out those open enough to be interviewed on camera. One of the early interviewees is Farid, a gay flight attendant, and the chemistry between the two is evident in their first meeting. Karim rebuffs Farid's good-natured flirtations, but it is clear he is flattered by the attention and somewhat intrigued by the possibility, though he repeatedly states that he is heterosexual and in love with his girlfriend. Farid's travels allow him to collect additional footage and research for Karim's project, and they get better acquainted in future meetings to review the information he obtained. Farid comes up with some tough questions for Karim, including why he doesn't see himself ever marrying his girlfriend, and why he chose this particular topic for his project. In time, the two make a journey to Morocco together, supposedly to do more research for the project, but both know it is a "honeymoon" of sorts for Karin to think about and reconcile his desires.

Beyond the story above, the film (actually, shot on video, in Paris, Marseille, Amsterdam and Morocco) is an informative and intriguing study of homosexuality among some Islamic cultures, where it was seen as an acceptable activity for young men before they married a woman, and where same-sex marriages actually took place until the mid 20th century.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Little Film That Packs a Wallop! March 28, 2006
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 (Riyad Echahi), 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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love Between Arab Men May 23, 2008
Director Remi Lange's "The Road to Love" offers a rare glimpse for Westerners into the world of same sex relations for Arab men. Karim (Karim Tarek), is ostensibly a straight French-Algerian student living in Paris-- his girl frield is Sihem (Sihem Benamoune)-- who decides to do a study on gay Muslims for a sociology class. He meets Farid (Farid Tali), an out flight attendant who agrees to be filmed by Karim for his class project. Along the way to love, Karim has to face his own feelings for the handsome Farid.

Although the film was obviously made on a shoe-string, it has its moments and is far better than so many of the gay films coming out of Europe. The nudity and eroticism feel natural. Several deleted scenes ae included on the DVD as well as a scary interview with a young man on the subject of gay life in Algeria.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, Original, Touching and Relevant April 26, 2008
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Dealing frankly yet delicately with the topic of homosexuality in Algeria, this movie is a breath of fresh air. It is original and unique. Using a hand -held camera and filmed as though it is a documentary it is obvious that some parts are scripted. This doesn't detract but in fact adds to the organic narrative that develops through the film.

This movie is not about Gay sex, but is about the full human experience of Gay love. The desire to bond and be to be loved. It almost seems that the movie rejects the idea of anonymous gay sex although is does discuss it. Our 'hero' of the story, Karim seems more interested in finding his mate.

As another reviewer here noted, the story seems autobiographical for some of the characters - using their own names. The acting is incredible and they have a clear understanding of the issues at hand. The scene where Karim first meets Farid, Karim is clearly nervous about Farid's flirtations but also seems to like it. He can't help but blush. This gives a very real feel to the story. When Farid touches his arm, Karim pulls back, but then seems to move back. For any Gay man who has had the attention of a 'straight' man will instantly identify with this.

Thoroughly enjoyable and a welcome addition to Queer cinema. The deleted scenes are especially good. The last deleted scene is particularly touching.
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