“Breaking the Silence: A Review of ‘El Houb'”
“El Houb” is a Dutch drama film directed by Shariff Nasr and co-written by Nasr, Philip Delmaar, and Fahd Larhzaoui. The film stars Fahd Larhzaoui, Lubna Azabal, and Slimane Dazi, and tells the story of Karim, a young Moroccan-Dutch man who is caught by his father with another man. After years of keeping his sexuality hidden, Karim decides to come out to his family, but he is uncertain whether or not he will be accepted.
The film is inspired by Larhzaoui’s personal experiences and explores the silent culture surrounding LGBTQ+ issues in Middle Eastern and North African families. Director Shariff Nasr wanted to challenge stereotypes about MENA immigrant communities and show that the challenge is not always about hate or bigotry, but often about silence.
“El Houb” premiered at the Netherlands Film Festival in 2020 and has since been shown at several international film festivals, including the Palm Springs International Film Festival and the Rotterdam International Film Festival. It was released in theaters on March 31, 2022, and is available on DVD and digital formats from Dark Star Pictures and Uncork’d Entertainment.
The film has received positive reviews from critics, with many praising its performances and sensitive portrayal of the struggles faced by LGBTQ+ individuals in traditional communities. The Hollywood Reporter called it a “touching and enlightening family drama,” while Variety described it as “a film that seeks to transcend both genre and region, providing a universally relatable depiction of the intricacies of family dynamics and the challenges of living an authentic life.”
“El Houb” is a powerful and thought-provoking film that sheds light on the experiences of LGBTQ+ individuals in traditional communities. Its nuanced portrayal of family dynamics and its exploration of the challenges faced by those who choose to come out will resonate with audiences around the world.
El Houb (The Love) (2022) – Gay film, Drama, 102 min, Netherlands, directed by Shariff Nasr with Fahd Larhzaoui, Lubna Azabal, Slimane Dazi, Sabri Saddik, Yahya Gaier, Emmanuel Ohene Boafo, Britte Lagcher, Nasrdin Dchar, Walid Benmbarek, Esma Abouzahra, Celion Kerk