The Moroccan director’s second feature films a love journey, the blossoming of a forbidden love and its torments. “Le Bleu du caftan”, presented at Cannes in 2022 and now crowned with several awards, is to be discovered in theaters.
Article written by
Reading time : 2 min.
Halim (Saleh Bakri) and Mina (Lubna Azabal) love each other. It could not be otherwise. Their daily life is punctuated by the making and sale of caftans in the shop they run in the medina of Salé, a religious and conservative city in Morocco. Halim is a maalem, a master tailor of caftans whose traditional know-how is being lost. The couple maintains a close relationship, but their intimacy tells another story that Moroccan director Maryam Touzani reveals in small touches when Youssef (Ayoub Missioui), a young apprentice, comes into their lives. The veil then rises on an alcove secret: Halim’s homosexuality.
For his second feature film, Touzani continues in the blueprint and behind closed doors, a formula that proved convincing for his first film (Adam), in order to tackle a taboo subject in his country and the Arab world in general. In the threesome which is gradually taking hold, love is the driving force behind everyone and particularly a character with a pivotal role: Mina, the wife, who accepts the earthquake which upsets the balance of her couple until ‘here preserved by mutual affection and unspoken agreement.
As the disease gnaws at her, Mina strives to prepare her companion’s romantic future, to protect him as she has always done. And that goes through a form of letting go, the acceptance of a sexual orientation that has been fought and repressed under social pressure.
With Touzani, the protagonists barely speak to each other when they have important things to say. Everything happens in the eyes. The viewer ends up sinking into Halim’s blue-gray eyes, mirrors of his thwarted loves. The camera also lingers on the hands and these small gestures that betray.
In turn, Maryam Touzani thus pays homage to an age-old art, to her mother and her caftan which she wore during the world premiere of the film presented in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival, and especially to the thousand and one faces of amorous abnegation. The theme, its treatment and the sincerity released by the actors – whose intensity lies in the economy of their acting – make Kaftan Blue a sensitive and courageous film.
Gender : Drama
Director: Maryam Touzani
Actors: Lubna Azabal, Saleh Bakri and Ayoub Missioui
Country : France, Morocco, Belgium and Denmark
Duration : 2:02
Exit : March 22 2023
Distributer : Ad Vitam