The Road to Love
Tarik El Hob
Reel Affirmations 13: Washington DC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Date: Sunday, 10/19/2003
Time: 2:00 pm

Venue: DCJCC
Tickets: $9

Type: Feature presentation
Language: French with English subtitles

Metro Weekly Rating: (4 out of 5)

by Sean Bugg

Road to LoveINTRIGUED BY a television report on the history male-male Islamic marriage in the Egyptian village of Siwa, sociology student Karim, an Algerian student in Paris, decides to make a documentary for his class about gay Muslim men. His girlfriend, Sihem, is apparently unaware that a person's choices of subjects often tell you volumes about what that person really wants.

Director Remi Lange constructs The Road to Love as a faux documentary, using handheld video cameras and improvisational acting for an intimate look at gay Muslim men, some of whom are comfortable with their sexuality, others who are struggling, and how both Western and their traditional cultures press them into roles.

Overall, Lange's strategy has mixed success as Karim moves deeper into his project and discoveries about his own sexuality. Karim himself is the most believable person in the film, whether in the lashing out at the people around him as he struggles with his feelings or in the happiness that shines in his eyes when he tapes himself dancing. But Farid, the openly gay man who has fallen in love with him, is often forced, stiff and a little off-putting, making you wish Karim would find a better candidate for his first male love.

Though not perfect, The Road to Love is an ambitious film about a too-often unseen subject that shouldn't be missed.

More information

Film Links:
· Reel Affirmations details
· Internet Movie Database

Festival Venue:
Cecile Goldman Theater at the DCJCC
1529 16th Street, NW; Washington, DC 20009. (202) 518-9400. (map)
3 blocks east of Red Line Metro / Dupont Circle station.

You may buy your tickets or passes in advance: Online at or by phone at (800) 494-TIXS (494-8497). Or you may visit the Lincoln Theatre (1215 U Street, NW, WDC); the DCJCC (1529 16th Street, NW, WDC); Lambda Rising (1625 Connecticut Avenue, NW, WDC); or Universal Gear (1601 17th Street, NW, WDC).

For more info visit the official Reel Affirmations website.