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The Path to Love

A sure-shot addition to gay, Arab and select other fests due to its unique cultural vantage point, vidpic "The Path to Love" is too rudimentary to hazard much further exposure. Quasi-docu interweaving a student's fictive making-of docu with meditation on the role of homosexuality in Arab cultures has stubborn charm.

With:
With: Karim Tarek, Sihem Benemoune, Abdellah Taia, Mustapha Dhadar, Farid Tali, Medhi Jouhar, Roschdy El Glaoui.

A sure-shot addition to gay, Arab and select other fests due to its unique cultural vantage point, vidpic “The Path to Love” is too rudimentary to hazard much further exposure. Nonetheless, quasi-docu interweaving a student’s fictive making-of docu with meditation on the role of homosexuality in various Arab cultures has stubborn charm, suggesting onward-and-upward career prospects for helmer/coscenarist Remi Lange. His prior features “Omelette” and “Les Yeux Brouilles” likewise caught fest attention.

Curiosity leading him to make a documentary about homosexuality among men of Arab heritage, cute Parisian college student Karim (Karim Tarek) connects with numerous interviewees, most of whom figure he’s thus ready for same-sex seduction. With sometime girlfriend Sihem (Sihem Benemoune) on tap, he’s at first resistant to that idea, then increasingly less so as dedicated, very charming “subject” Farid (Farid Tali) patiently plays suitor. Their courtship climaxes in a long mutual trip to Marrakech, visiting Jean Genet’s tomb among other telltale signposts. Camcorder shooting and improv feel are offset by judicious editing, which helps draw together chaotically organized character and geographical p.o.v.’s. Disarmingly natural perfs go a long way toward maintaining interest in crude yet likeable package.

The Path to Love

France-Algeria

Production: A Remi Lange production. Produced by Lange. Directed by Remi Lange. Screenplay, Lange, Antoine Parlebas.

Crew: Camera (color, HD vid), Lange; editors, Lange, Parlebas; music, Bruno Haney; production designer, Lange. Reviewed at San Francisco Lesbian & Gay Festival, June 16, 2003. Running time: 69 MIN.

With: With: Karim Tarek, Sihem Benemoune, Abdellah Taia, Mustapha Dhadar, Farid Tali, Medhi Jouhar, Roschdy El Glaoui.

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