SALVATION ARMY (L’ARMÉE DU SALUT)
The teenage Abdellah lives with his numerous family in Casablanca and feels a kind of attraction/worship towards his elder brother Slimane, in a small house where family tension is par for the course. He is forced to hide his homosexuality and have furtive occasional encounters with strangers. He decides to escape from the claustrophobic Moroccan micro cosmos, and 10 years later we find him in Geneva, Switzerland, where he came, led by the desire to freely live his own life. But the dream for the west immediately shows its dark side.
Taïa shows us a dark and sensual Morocco, far from the western clichés, where being gay means being practically invisible: “The problem with homosexuals is that they are not accepted from the start. From where I am from, it is said that homosexuality doesn’t exist, that it is a terrible thing to live and accept. I had no other choice but to accept this non-existence. We could call it exile, which means that your people, the same ones who say they love you, who want to protect you, who want the best for you and who feed you – milk, honey and many other things – deny you that which is most important, recognising you as a human being”( Abdellah Taïa).
Salvation Army is the adaptation of his first novel – mainly autobiographical – and Taïa, 39, has also written An Arab melancholia (2008), Le jour du Roi (2010) and Infidels (2012). Taïa is the first Moroccan (and Arab) writer to come out. This is his first film as a director.
See the trailer