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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

(aka "Salvation Army" or "L'armée du salut")

 

directed by Abdellah Taia
France/Morocco/Switzerland 2013

 

Director Abdellah Taia adapts his own 2006 novel about the life of a gay teenager in a very traditional Muslim family in Casablanca. Abdellah (Said Mrini) is sexually active with a number of locals with whom he shares a vital need for secrecy (with the slightest hint of familiarity arousing suspicion). At home, his superstitious mother (Malika El Hamaoui) is authoritative and manipulative while his father (Abdelhak Swilah) is mild-mannered at one moment and abusive towards his mother the next (and possibly in denial about evidence of Abdellah's sexuality). He worships his self-assured older brother Slimane (Amine Ennaji, L'ENNEMIE INTIME) - to the point that even Abdellah is disturbed about the possible sexual connotations - and fears like his mother that he will leave them one day (with Abdellah humoring his mother's dependence on sorcery to keep Slimane but also quietly hoping it works). While Slimane dreams of getting away - signified to Abdellah by his embracing of the French language and culture - Abdellah finds life as it is bearable in his presence. When Slimane decides to visit the seaside for a few days with Abdellah and youngest brother Moustapha (Hamza Slaoui), his mother tasks Abdellah with keeping his older brother away from prostitutes and gives him a talisman to put under Slimane's bed. When Slimane nevertheless runs off with a waitress (Amal Maarouf, GOODBYE MOROCCO), Abdellah's faith shattered in his mother's abilities, home life becomes unbearable. An older, wiser Abdellah (Karim Ait M'Hand) takes up with vacationing Swiss (French-speaking) scholar (Frédéric Landenberg, THE LITTLE BEDROOM) as a ruthless means of achieving true freedom (both spiritually and sexually).

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 23 January 2015 (USA)

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DVD Review: Strand Releasing - Region 1 - NTSC

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

Runtime 1:24:51
Video

1.81:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.6 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio French/Arabic Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles English, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Strand Releasing

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.81:1

Edition Details:
� Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:41)
� Trailers for 'Lilting', 'Futuro Beach', 'Stranger by the Lake', and 'The Way He Looks'

DVD Release Date: 31 March 2015
Amaray

Chapters 8

 

 

 

Comments

Strand Releasing's dual-layer DVD of this feature - shot by Claire Denis regular Agnes Godard (35 SHOTS OF RUM) - contains a progressive, anamorphic 1.81:1 transfer with a mid-range bit-rate encode that evinces minute edge enhancement and moderate depth. The Dolby Digital 5.1 track is very front-oriented with surrounds that are subtly active but rarely dynamic. The optional English subtitles are free of any obvious errors and translates both the Arabic and French (spoken with more frequency in the final act of the film) dialogue. The only extras are a trailer for the film and trailers for four other gay interest Strand features, including the more explicit STRANGER BY THE LAKE and the more light-hearted (yet angsty) THE WAY HE LOOKS.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

 

 

 

Distribution

Strand Releasing

Region 1 - NTSC

 




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