Monday, October 9th, 2023

Queerguru’s Jose Mayorga reviews THE JUDGEMENT : the journey of a gay couple in love in homophobic Egypt


Egypt, where to live between fantasy and reality almost doesn’t exist”

The call for the Muslim prayer out loud in the streets of Alexandria, Egypt seems like the background music of this fictional dark tale of two young men in love. 


It is June 2020.Mo -Mohamed- (Junes Zahdi) and Hisham  (Freddy Shahin) are from the airport on their way to Hisham´s parent’s home, in their way, there is a mention of the death of activist Sarah Hegazi, a leader in support of LGTB rights in Egypt.  This provides the context for the animadversion and aggressiveness they are immersed in.

Beautifully shot, the camera is another protagonist telling the story, the film portrays, among other things,  the mystery of the city and the tender attractiveness of the two men resting in bed with their socks on. The men belong to a culture different from the Western and the demonstrations of loving care and other interactions are always interesting to observe.

We learn Mo found out he was gay around 11 years old, he was very religious then.  He came out as naturally as possible to his mother, in response, she cried and said he was cursed, that his being gay was witchcraft she didn´t know who had done it…  completing the plot, Mo has nightmares, visions of a boy (himself)  chained, and listens to metal scrapes. In that social and cultural context, Mo incarnates sin. The film takes us through family concerns and issues on Mo’s side to be resolved.  He visits his grandmother Salma she is sick and living in fear of phantoms also superstition and other people related to the family emerge.

As a counterpart Hisham and his family are very supportive of Mo, especially Nabla (Samara Nohra) who moves us all at the end of the film.

The film pictures contemporary Egypt rooted in religion and traditions that go against free will and respect for difference.  Unfortunately, several misconceptions are replicated all around the world.  Directed by Marwan Mokbel with stunning photography by Leo Purman. and although a bit overlong, it is a must-see film involving cultural values of the Middle East, successfully achieved.  It is one of the rare few queer movies in Egypt 




Review by José Mayorga , Guatemala, Central America lawyer and notary public, visual artist, and editor of El Azar Cultural, lives and works in Guatemala City. Cinema lover, curious about the possibilities life brings and eager to live the experience.

Posted by queerguru  at  19:16

Genres:  drama, international, romance

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