The Blue Caftan’: Morocco’s taboo on homosexuality laid bare

Tags : Morocco, homosexuality, gay, LGBTQ, The Blue Caftan,

After a remarkable debut feature on the stigma of single mothers in her country, director Maryam Touzani unpacks another forbidden subject through an elegant melodrama.

Elsa Fernández-Santos

The debut three years ago of Tangier-born director Maryam Touzani already heralded a suggestive gaze capable of delving with wisdom into the occult realities of her country, Morocco. If Adam revolved around the stigma of being a single mother in a retrograde society through three characters, a young pregnant woman, a widow and her daughter, Touzani’s new film, The Blue Caftan, approached homosexuality, latent and secret in that same society, also through three characters and with the same sensitivity and intelligence as her previous film.

The stupendous actress Lubna Azabal is once again at the centre of a conflict that is alien to her body, but not to her gaze. If Adam’s character was the bitter owner of a pastry shop, now she is the owner of a clothing and textile shop where her husband and a young assistant painstakingly make precious kaftans. Touzani is held in the craftsmanship, in the embroidery and in the delicate and noble male hands that sew this typical Maghrebi garment while the wife devotes herself to the shop. The routine of the small tailor’s shop conceals a reality of which no one speaks but which is present in every shot, the homosexuality of a good and affectionate husband who establishes another type of complicity and affection with a woman beset by an illness of which she has not even got dressed.

But The Blue Caftan is above all the story of a silent love triangle, an elegant melodrama that breathed love for its three characters, that observed their lives through objects and rituals, plates of food, fruits and golden threads. Customs and traditions that come through like music through the window without falling into the postcard, but with a deep and respectful knowledge of the society it portrays.

The blue kaftan
Directed by: Maryam Touzani.

Performers: Saleh Bakri, Lubna Azabal, Ayoub Messioui.

Genre: drama. Morocco, 2022.

Duration: 122 minutes.

Premiere: 10 March.


#Morocco #Homosexuality #Gay #LGBTQ