El Houb (2023) Film Review
After Karim decides to stay true to himself and open up to his parents about who he really is, the only way to deal with the situation is to lock him behind the door. Through a small hole, she lives and relives the traumatic moments that made her who she is. Communicates or tries to. She cries out for help while being constantly ignored. And if someone hears it, it doesn’t go the right way. He is a queer man who is forced to be in a closet while trying to get his family to understand that the culture needs to change. Out of love, respect, tolerance. But it has to change.
Karim’s story is the story of millions of people. They are seen as pariahs of a society who do not know what to do beyond the rules they have created. But El Houb, the intimate environment is much stronger than we thought. We must be optimistic that Karim’s family will understand that he is the one they love. But understanding comes too late when the scars don’t heal and the emotional wounds have to be lived with.
Sharif Nasryour movie is beautiful. There is no other way to put it. It is a journey through a culture of intolerance and religious foundations that does not dare to evolve and adapt to a social norm that is not dirty or disrespectful. Karim’s heart is repeatedly broken because his models cannot grasp the idea that he simply likes men and will not marry the one assigned to him. It’s hard to see the beauty, but being true to yourself seems to be the essence of our emotional freedom. Yes, she’s behind a closet, but she can’t bring herself to break out of her reality to live up to her parents’ expectations.
El Houb a loud and authentic statement that feels like a product of love made with such passion and heart that it’s hard to dismiss it because it’s not every man’s story. But let’s take the weird out of the equation. When was the last time you sacrificed something you feel for something that follows someone else’s agenda or culture? I’m sure it’s more universal. Nasr’s film is a great example of this feeling, where it leads and where it can flow into. Sometimes happiness lies within you, but the world doesn’t understand it. Not your fault. Theirs. You are just the best version of yourself: the one who is happy, who loves who you want and respects who deserves to be respected.