Tarik El Hob

This romantic-kitsch story goes from Paris to Marseille, from Amsterdam to Morocco via Jean Genet’s grave in Larache, and on to Tangiers. The movie tells the story of an Algerian-French heterosexual young man beginning a sociology study of gay islamic homosexualities and discovering gay love with a young French steward.

User Reviews:

I saw this film last night as part of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Film Festival 2004. It is an extraordinary thesis on islamic homosexuality and a love story. The story concerns a heterosexual french algerian muslim student, Karim, who after seeing a story on television about gay men in Egypt decides to do a video thesis on homosexuality and islam. In the process he discovers his sexuality and falls in love with a gay arab man (Farid) that is one of his interviewees. The movie is about an issue rarely explored in any great detail in cinema and the movie covers and explores many sensitive topics with such skill.It is also a movie full of sensuality and tenderness. When Karim goes to Morocco with Farid we see a part of the country and culture rarely seen. And through Karim, Farid and all his interviewees in ‘Tarik El Hob’, a sensitive and powerful masculinity and culture rarely explored in cinema. For this avid moviegoer this film was groundbreaking. A must see.

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 (Farid Tali), 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. Not only are we allowed to explore a subject matter few of us knew (Islamic homosexuality history and social mores), we are also presented with one of the more tender love stories on film – tender because it is not overt but rather because it is so naturally evolved. The actors are excellent and though they feel as though they are first time, off the street recruits, they find the core of the script and make the story beautiful. In French and Arabic with English subtitles.

beautiful, rich, you really laugh and have tears well up and so forth. heartbreakingly sweet acting. saw it a couple of days ago and am still processing it lots to think about. really interesting in it’s relation to genet and how fictional the film is, very I think… I mean the whole story is I think related to that “you look like your sister in this light boy I could go for your sister right now” thing. only reappropriated by romance lol romantic beyond all possibility. I felt so sad after I saw it but then I met a guy at a gas station breaking several months of being fed up with the menfolk. a weird coincidence anyway this is really a magical movie. and I met the director too and he’s really sweet. I want to buy the DVD and read the screenplay.

oh maybe I should mention the actors are all so hot without looking plastic in the least. Je fais le freak out par que ce film est si formidable.

it occurs to me this could be the most deliriously romantic movie I’ve ever seen. meaning like more potent, worse, if you will, than any hollywood movie. and you can’t do anything but just lap it up…

I liked this movie, if for no other reason than its pure exoticism. The story of a Algerian student making a documentary as a University sociology class assignment frames the familiar story of a young male discovering his attraction to men. It’s a slender premise, but adequate for the story to be told.

It was interesting to me that the student, Karim, sees homosexuality as a kind of surrender. There is a lot of anxiety about who is active and who is passive, as if there is no middle ground, or as if gay men sodomize and exclude all other sex acts. I suppose this is because Karim’s interest is piqued when he learns of the pre-1940 same sex marriages in his culture. He seems only to be able to accept his gayness in this context of faux heterosexuality.

I liked the video-cinema-verite style–it added to the immediacy of the story. I liked watching the relationship develop between Karim and his admirer. And I liked the introduction to Algerian culture. As another reviewer mentions, the actors are attractive and real: there are no bronzed pecs and abs here. That alone makes this gay-themed film exotic . . . .

Tahar Rahim on starring in the unforgettable A Prophet

Tahar Rahim, its talented star, describes how he turned a murderous gangster into a positive role model for French Arabs

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It’s that one unforgettable and deeply disquieting moment, early in the movie, where the award-winning prison drama A Prophet suddenly shows its teeth. Here, an impressionable Arab convict called Malik, played by the 28-year-old French actor Tahar Rahim, is forced to commit murder. Thrust into the cell of a gay Arab informant called Reyeb (Hichem Yacoubi) and armed only with a razorblade nestled treacherously along his gumline, Malik must cut the throat of the only man to have shown him a hint of kindness. If he doesn’t, he will face certain death at the hands of the Corsican mobsters who run the prison from the inside.

The ensuing to and fro between Malik and Reyeb, at first conversational and then terrifyingly physical, is a squirm-inducing opening climax that lets you know that A Prophet is going to be more than a powerful arthouse prison movie — it is, in fact, going to be one of the greatest movies of the year.

“That scene was harder for me to do than any of the others,? Rahim says. A relative newcomer to the world of acting, he can nonetheless boast a Best Actor trophy from the recent European Film Awards and was announced as a Rising Star nominee for this year’s Baftas. Plus he is currently bathing in A Prophet’s inevitable pre-Oscar glow (it is hotly tipped to return from the ceremony in March with at least one gold statuette).

In person, he has the fine-boned androgynous beauty of a style mag cover boy. When not apologising profusely for the blue haze of French cigarette smoke that hangs in the air of his London hotel room, he will jitter busily from leg to leg, from cushion to cushion, tackling all answers with a fevered intensity.

Of seeing the film for the first time, for instance, he coos: “I saw it two weeks before Cannes in an editing suite. I was shaking after it, it was so good.? Concerning his newfound ‘It’ boy status, he says: “It’s crazy that I’m recognised on the street. But it also means that now I can read scripts and people listen to me.?

For now, though, he remembers the razor scene. It was filmed by the director Jacques Audiard (Read My Lips) during the first two weeks of the movie’s 79-day shoot in late summer 2008, on the outskirts of Paris and in a purpose-built prison set. “All the tension in that scene is in Malik’s head,? Rahim continues. “He definitely doesn’t want to kill, but if he doesn’t kill he dies. So before we do the scene I’m thinking and thinking. I’m smoking. I’m listening to music. I’m walking. Walking and smoking and thinking. And then, boom! I’m in the moment!?

The moment, for Malik, takes him slowly through the prison ranks in a genuinely epic Godfather-style saga of slow-burning criminal endeavour. Under the protection of the Corsican mob boss Cesar (Niels Arestrup), Malik absorbs the rules of life on the inside while eventually, through occasional day releases, establishing his own Arab-run fraternity of drug-dealers and gangsters on the outside. And yet all the while Malik remains an intensely sympathetic character. He has little dialogue, expressing everything through busy eyes that are either quietly observing, deflecting pain or controlling rage — and sometimes all three at once. “It’s hard when you don’t have the words to cling to,? Rahim admits. “But it’s also exciting. When you get it right without words, it feels so good inside.?

His performance, which anchors the entire film, has been relentlessly validated by awestruck festival juries (A Prophet won the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes last year) and industry heavyweights alike. Last month at the European Film Awards, held in Bochum in Germany, Rahim was approached over the course of the evening by Ken Loach, Danny Boyle and Wim Wenders and congratulated for his pivotal part in the movie’s success. “Can you imagine that?? Rahim says, opening out his hands, palms forward, as if to say, “Why me??

And what did Rahim say in return? “I said, ‘Thank you,’? he says, shrugging. Not “Give us a job?? “Oh, no!? he says, aghast. “You never say that.?

His performance is noteworthy for other, more subtle, reasons. As a French Arab of Algerian descent he has created in Malik a truly modern movie hero that inverts completely the stereotypical image of screen Arabs. Audiard claims that this inversion was deliberate. “In French cinema you see Arabs in one of two contexts,? the director says. “Either naturalistically, in a social realist context, or in a genre fiction playing a terrorist. We didn’t want that. We wanted our Arabs to be heroes.?

Rahim, who grew up in the small north eastern town of Belfort, admits that the positive portrayal of Malik is encouraging. “I think the French-Arab communities have been touched by the fact that you can now see a lead character, a hero, from this minority in the cinema.?

But he is keener still to move the entire discussion onwards, to a post-racial debate. “This movie is not talking about changing the way we see the Arabs,? he says, shifting in his seat, visibly agitated. “It’s about taking a man who is homeless, who has no origin, and showing you that he is just a person first, before being Arab, or Corsican, or whatever. This man just wants to eat, sleep and drink. He is writing his own life. So the movie doesn’t have to change the way we see Arabs because here, in this film, it’s already happened. It’s already changed.?

His own life, he says, with a perplexed shake of the head, has little in common with that of Malik. His childhood was marked, not by racial tension, but by boredom. As the youngest son in a selfdescribed “working-class family? (his father worked in a factory), he says that he found refuge from the boredom of Belfort in cinema. “I was watching three or four movies a week, every week,? he says. “And after a while I was unselfconscious enough and pretentious enough to think that, yes, I could be up there on the screen too. That could be me.?

He studied cinema at Montpellier University and moved to Paris, where he worked in a nightclub on weekends and in a factory during the week (“I was just arms and a body on a construction line, putting information booklets together?). These were tough times, he says, and the only acting work he secured was a two-line part as a luckless policeman in the gory Béatrice Dalle horror film Inside.

At that time, however, he noticed a short précis of Audiard’s future project, A Prophet, in a movie magazine. “I read it and joked to my friend: ‘Hey, that could me! I could do that role.’?

The very next part he snagged was that of an ambitious young Arab living in the troubled banlieues of Paris in the French TV mini series La Commune, which was written by Abdel Raouf Dafri, one of the original screenwriters of A Prophet.

“Everything moved very fast after that,? Rahim says. He met Audiard through Dafri, but had to fight through three months and eight auditions before the director finally gave him the part. He spent four months of pre-production deep in research, studying prison documentaries and meeting ex-convicts before he realised that he was wasting his own time. “I was trying to do heavy research, because I wanted to be all Method about it, but I eventually realised that all I was doing was building a mishmash of different parts that already existed,? he explains. “That was wrong, because Malik is new to the prison system, so that’s what I had to be. In the end I didn’t even visit the set, or look at pictures of it, until the first day of shooting.?

He says that life since A Prophet has changed completely. In his next movie, The Eagle of the Ninth, a Roman-era blockbuster directed by Kevin Macdonald (State of Play), he will play a warrior prince, a role for which he didn’t even audition. “Kevin saw the trailer for A Prophet, called me the next day and said: ‘Right, let’s work together,’? Rahim says, half-laughing with incredulity. He adds, though, “He finally saw the full film a few days ago, and texted me his congratulations.?

His private life, too, is getting a revamp, and he plans to spend much of early 2010 moving, with his girlfriend (“She’s not an actress, she’s my girlfriend?), from Paris’s pretty but tourist plagued 18th arrondissement to the more cosmopolitan 19th or 20th, “where I can get to live in a very quiet place, away from it all?.

Of the Oscars, he says that he’d like to go to the awards ceremony, if only for the experience — A Prophet is France’s official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category, but many pundits are predicting that the movie, like La Vie En Rose before it, will break out also into the “mainstream? categories (Best Actor, Best Director etc). “Awards are nice. They make you happy because it means that people loved your movie,? Rahim says. “But we won’t know anything until the beginning of February, when the nominations are announced.?

Until then, he says that he wants people to refocus attention away from him and his career and back on to the film itself, to acknowledge how extraordinary it is in its entirety. “What we’re talking about is a great director, a great script, great characters and a great production team. Everybody involved in this film was the best at what they did. When you live in a Utopia for four months, people feel the results. And the results here are perfection.?

Steam The Turkish Bath – Hamam

13 January 2010

“Steam The Turkish Bath” is the first in a trilogy of films by Director Ferzan Ozpetek in which he brilliantly explores the sub-rosa aspect of the lives of his characters. “Steam The Turkish Bath” is followed by “His Secret Life” and finally “Saturn In Opposition”. All three films are highly recommended.

Synopsis:

An Italian designer journeys to Istanbul in order to sell off a hamam (a traditional men’s steam bath) he has inherited from a deceased aunt, but he soon falls under the establishment’s exotic, and erotic, spell. Ferzan Ozpetek’s elegant direction embraces the situation’s inherent sensuality yet steers clear of sensationalism. His meticulous attention to the details of Turkish daily life-especially the preparation and serving of food-and to the nonverbal interaction of people from disparate cultures enriches an unusual story of spiritual transformation.
~ James M Keller The New Yorker (New York, NY, United States)

Independent Review:

“One of the finest love stories”

This movie is one of the most eloquent, elegant love stories to come along in years. I cannot reccomend this film highly enough, not only to gay viewers,especially younger people who should see that there is more to life than cheap sex and dancemusic, but to straight people as well. The film is as much the tale of Marta’s awakeing as it is about Francesco’s. He is healed and transformed by Mehmet’s love and his adoption of his Aunt’s vision of life. Marta in fact is really almost the central character as she is almost transformed into the reincarnation of Francesco’s dead Aunt (whose letters set the whole plot in motion and transform both her nephew’s life and the lives of all around him: Marta, Mehmet)The soundtrack is one of the most sensual and evocative to come round in ages and is a must have! Buy or at least rent this hopeful, sad, subtle little knife of a film and you’ll find yourself wanting to see Istanbul itself next….
~ David G. Cercone (Washington, DC, United States)

Independent Review:

” A great film about happiness!,”

This is a wonderful film about happiness and love. Finding your true place in life physically as well as emotionally is the theme. Everything is beautiful about this movie, the people, the love between the two men and the between the family and Francesco. Great performances by the cast, especially Alessandro Gassman. Beautiful scenes of Istanbul, which I am sure is not seen by the usual tourist. I loved this movie and highly recommend it.
~ Anonymous (Canada)

Independent Review:

” A movie for the higher mind”

If you’re “lower chakra”, this movie will disappoint you. This movie beautifully portrays the many forms that love can take, including the possibility that a place can also fall in love with a person. (I like this idea a lot.) The character Mehmet talks about the ‘way of the hamam – where you learn the love for all things’.

This movie also shows a way of life in Turkey that is perhaps disappearing; an old style of architecture that is perhaps endangered there, as in the whole world, by developers. And this movie shows the wonderful ways of the Turkish people -they wrote the book on hospitality, and so many of them are totally psychic – if you travel to Turkey, someone somewhere will read your palm or your coffee grounds and will be amazingly accurate. They seem to be able to see right into your soul.
This is a wonderful movie.
~ L. Czerepkowski (Chicago, IL, United States)

Independent Review:

” A Beautiful Movie”

“Steam”, also known as “Hamam” or “Il Bagno Turco” is one of the best movies I have ever seen! After repeat viewing you will notice the beauty of the story, characters and the city of Istanbul! Francesco is the sole heir of his aunt, the sister of his mother, whom he has never known! Being single, after a life of love and tragedy, she was living the last years of her life with a Turkish family in an old original part of Istanbul. Due to the downfall of tradition, the Hamam lost its appeal and had to be closed. Francesco, an architect/interior designer, living in Italy, in a wealthy part of Rome with his girlfriend goes to Istanbul to take care of the estate of his aunt. From his arrival he is drawn into the mysterious world of Hamam! Great is his surprise that his inheritance is a Hamam! After getting to know the family, Francesco is engulfed in this new old world of Turkey and Istanbul. Going from very wealthy in Rome to being a guest of a very poor Turkish family, Francesco’s life and the Hamam become “one”. Francesco has decided to rebuild his life without his girlfriend and Rome and starts rebuilding the Haman in Istanbul to its former glory with the help of Mehmet, son of the Turkish family, who, during the course of the restauration, becomes his lover. From then on things start to develop very quickly in a storm of old against new, east against west, money against poverty, greed against tradition, love against hate and finally gay against straight untill the very end! The conclusion is as shocking as unexpected! A movie to be viewed and reviewed again and again! Highly recommended!
~ Altea (Antwerp, Belgium)

He’s Gay. He’s Moroccan. And He Fell In Love With His Brother. Then He Wrote It All Down

If an American were to publish five autobiographies, we’d consider him pompous. Even Larry King’s latest (error-prone) tome seems a bit self-indulgent. But Morocco’s Abdellah Taia, 35, who the Associated Press describes as the “first high-profile, openly gay man,” doesn’t seem to be in it for himself. Rather, he’s on a one-man crusade to expose homophobia in North Africa, including in his own family, where his parents and eight siblings have abandoned him in shame. (It doesn’t help that he writes about them regularly in his books, along with graphic sexual prose.)

In the book L’armee du Salut, he also talks about his blooming sexuality, describing teenage trysts in the back of dark movie theaters and flings with European tourists looking for more than sun on their Moroccan holidays.

Like nearly all Arab countries, Morocco considers homosexual relations a crime, punishable by fines and prison sentences of six months to three years. Such penalties are rarely applied, though, and in practice, Morocco has a long history of leniency toward homosexuality and other practices forbidden by Islam.

Asked whether he sees himself as courageous, Taia said, “The most difficult thing was to work up the courage to pick up the pen and write for the first time.”

An English translation arrived in the U.S. last month, notes Al-Bab in an interview with the author, where he talks about sexual feelings toward his own brother.

Your feelings towards your brother started with admiration but became over time more sexual, I think …

I don’t know. This started so early on that it’s confused in my mind. The admiration came with the movies because he was the one who took me to see films and he was the one who had movie magazines. This element is very important. He showed me the direction to follow: cinema.

But at some point a sexual element came into the attraction as well?

Yes. For instance, I wrote in the book that twice a week I used to help him to wash his hair. Just a little boy putting water on his big brother’s head and forgetting that that man is his brother. I wanted to do so many things with him, to touch his neck, to play with his hair, to dry him, to kiss the clean skin of his hands . . .

Gay Travel: Gay Turkish Delights In Istanbul

I must admit it was rather a bad line when I had to tell my friends that I was going to Turkey for thanksgiving instead of having turkey dinner. At least it explained my absence from the traditional feast. Then I had to confess that my knowledge of Turkey was limited to the 80s classic movie Midnight Express. Who could forget the movie’s opening scene with Brad Davis in his tight white briefs strapping tin foil packages of drugs around his perfect six pack? But at least I knew that Istanbul was at the crossroads of two continents—a globally unique occurrence—the city being divided into Europe and Asia by the Bosphorus Straight. With over 11 million people residing in this metropolis I felt confident that my trip would reveal the mystique of Turkey and possibly there might be a gay community in a city so populous.

On the drive to my hotel from the vast, confusing airport imagine my surprise as I gazed at the specter of modern high rise towers amidst the historic mosques with their towering minarets. With a history dating back to circa 6500 BC and the ruins of a Neolithic settlement plus monuments from Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman civilizations up to modern day architecture this truly is a city filled with variety. And I soon learned that this diversity includes a thriving gay and lesbian community. My knowledgeable English speaking local tour guide, Okan Kutlu from Istanbul, explained that although the gay community is spread throughout the city there were several bars, clubs, restaurants and cafes to enjoy. However, there are no exclusively gay accommodations but many gay-friendly boutique hotels.

In the shopping, entertainment and gourmet dining district of Nisantasi the Sofa Hotel offers a unique combination of new technology, comfort, peace and exclusive personal services. With 82 rooms and executive suites this hotel provides luxury accommodations and facilities for a relaxing urban vacation.

Close to the Taksim District gay nightlife is the elegant boutique Lush Hotel where any gay traveler is going to feel right at home with pampered service and upscale rooms. With 35 uniquely different and stylish rooms to choose from the Lush Hotel offers something for every vacation budget and, as I soon discovered, lives up to to its name.
Despite the vast number of cars on the roads and the near gridlock traffic, we maneuvered deftly around the city by day to cover the major tourist attractions including the Blue Mosque, the Great Bazaar, the Spice Market, the Hagia Eirene, the Topkapi Palace, and the Hagia Sophia just to name a few. At the end of a busy day of sightseeing a two-hour cruise along the Bosphorus Straight reveals even more historic sights and possibly a spectacular sunset as you return to the docks in the heart of Istanbul.

But this city by night also proffers a few unexpected surprises for the gay adventurer.
Dining out in this sophisticated international city offers every specialty or ethnic cuisine imaginable and of course a variety of Turkish Delights. The Taksim district of Beyoglu town on the European side is the center of most major gay venues and is in fact the heart of this city’s major nightlife. Although my time was limited I did manage to discover a few favorites amongst the many choices for libations and entertainment.
We made an early start at the Shake’in Bar which opens at 4PM and is a local cafe and bar with several different rooms plus a small dance floor. On this particular occasion a local singer entertained the crowd with Turkish songs and although I didn’t understand the words, when a handsome young man sits on your lap to serenade you, the language becomes universal.

gay turkish delight

Next we headed to the larger more American-style Tek Yon dance bar. Currently recognized as the most popular gay bar in Istanbul, the waiters and staff are very friendly and the crowd very mixed and packed most nights.

But our last stop of the night quickly became my favorite when we arrived at the Love Dance Point. Although it doesn’t open until 11:30PM and only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays it stays alive until 5AM on weekends. The incredibly friendly waiters, bartenders and management make the place. Not surprisingly the hot Turkish go-go dancers are a delight, and the amazingly diverse tightly packed crowd quickly made me realize I had found the real Midnight Express in Istanbul.

Gay Travel: Gay Turkish Delights In Istanbul.

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Straight but HOT Moroccan Porn Star

Zenza Raggi, my favorite straight porn star :p

He has an incredibly THICK ARAB COCK and is a very hard fucker!

I’ve never seen him in a gay porn movie, unfortunately. He could do me!!

Performer AKA: Zenza, Karim Sabaheddine, Zensa Raggi, Karim Sabakeddine, Karim Stuart, Karim Mustafa, Karim
Director AKA: Zenza Raggi, Sensa Raggi
Birthday: October 24, 1970
Astrology: Scorpio
Birthplace: Casablanca, Morocco
Years Active as Performer: 1994-2008 (Started around 24 years old)
Year Active as Director: 1999
Ethnicity: German
Hair Color : Brown
Height: 6 feet, 1 inches (185 cm)
Weight: 165 lbs (75 kg)

http://www.arab-gay.com/forums/showthread.php?t=268

Men And Cum Hungry Bottoms

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6 November 2009
Men And Cum Hungry Bottoms
This movie takes you onto a hot bareback journey between Ryan and young 9″, uncut Cylus taking his friends uncut cock… raw! These two hotties prove just how much they love to fuck and eat cum
Director: Aaron Kline

Sexy Turkish Boy Cahil

You can see all of Cahil and the hundreds of other Turkish twinks and Arab twinks @ IstanBoys.com

Ahbab News 2008-01-10 17:17:00

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10 January 2008

Egyptian Film Offends Extremist Religious Scholars A lesbian sex scene in an Egyptian film has outraged religious scholars, who are telling people not to watch the ‘sinful’ movie. An Islamic Studies professor at Cairo University wants the Egyptian authorities to prosecute the director and both actresses involved in the scene, Ghada Abdel-Razeq and Sumaya Al-Khashab. Dr Abdel-Sabour Shahin

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