EL HOUB tells the story of Moroccan-Dutch Karim (Fahd Larhzaoui), who tells his parents (Lubna Azabal and Slimane Dazi) that he is attracted to men. After years of keeping up appearances, the word is finally out. The difficult days that follow evoke beautiful and poignant memories. He realizes that he has to confront his family to finally break the silence, but in order to be accepted he must come to terms with his own feelings first. 

EL HOUB is inspired by main actor Fahd Larhzaoui’s personal experiences with coming out to his family. EL HOUB (meaning ‘the love’) focuses on the silent culture the director has observed in Arabic families – not only about homosexuality but cultural taboos in general. With a powerful filmic language, the film tells about messages between the lines and things not said.

Says director Shariff Nasr, “It is fantastic to be able to work with internationally renowned actors like Lubna Azabal and Slimane Dazi. Lubna underwent an intense metamorphosis to realistically portray the role of the elderly mother and Slimane went through an intensive process to speak fluent Darija Arabic in the film. Thanks to their efforts and enormous commitment, they, along with Fahd Larhzaoui and Sabri Saddik, form a close-knit family in EL HOUB that draws the viewer into this intense story.”

Written by Shariff Nasr, Philip Delmaar and Fahd Larhzaoui, and produced by Joram Willink of BIND. the film is an intimate, unique and commanding exploration of a man who comes out to live his true self.


Available from Dark Star Pictures and Uncork’d Entertainment.


About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.