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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Gay > Foreign > Muslum > Middle East > Road To Love

The Road To Love


Picture: C     Sound: C+     Extras: C     Main Program: C+



Since 9/11/01, the image of Muslim men in the American media has been mostly of terrorists and killers.  “The War On Terror” only magnified the stereotype that all Muslim men are out to oppress women, kill anyone who is not like themselves and believe their version of God gives them this justification.  That is why watching Rémi Lange’s The Road To Love (2003) is so interesting and shocking in that it shows Gay Muslims are all over the place, even enjoying open Gay parties and bars.  Certainly, there have been tortures, rapes and even public beheadings of gays and lesbians, but it is not as totalitarian or intensely organized as the terrorists would have you think.


We have seen the contradictory treatment of homosexuality in Islamic countries, particularly in Democratic places like Turkey in Alan Parker’s Oliver Stone-scripted Midnight Express (1978).  In this program, Remi (Karim Tarek) goes around with a camcorder to talk to men and find as many gay men as he can, all to prove homosexuality and gay males are all over every single Islamic country in the world.  He looks for other men and deals with his own gayness as he travels through Arab countries.  This is not some world tour, but it makes its point.


However, as is usually the case with people who get carried away with the simplicity of videotape, this becomes too self-indulgent in ways that has nothing to do with the quest, having that silly “reality TV” effect that is so beyond tired that this 70 minutes could have lost at least 20.  This is a kinder, gentler look at somewhat oppressed gayness in this part of the world, but could have been more of a revelation (even if it did not deal with The Taliban or the like) and also adds up to a missed opportunity.  The Road To Love does not get to where it could have gotten, but has some moments that explain its success.


The 1.33 X 1 image is average at best, showing some digital artifacts and aliasing problems throughout.  It is in color, but it is nothing special visually and the Dolby Digital 2.0 sound is rather flat stereo, if not outright mono, so though it is not as bad as some pretentious Dogme 95 fiasco, it is nothing special.  Extras include a five-frame text biography on the co-writers Lange and Antoine Parlebas, a few unmarked deleted scenes, an odd “music video” and a bonus interview.  Some of that is better than the feature, but the extras scenes would not have added anything, but you can judge for yourself now.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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