Balancing Islam with gay love

At first, Mo falls into a crisis. His friend Hassan has separated to marry a pseudo-wife to please his conservative Muslim family. Because while Mo gastroenterologist, as a devout Muslim with roots in Lebanon, lives openly gay and thus combines two contradictory worlds, Hassan is no stranger. Even after a year had passed, Mo hadn’t finished the hard crash. At a birthday party he didn’t want to go to, he met aspiring actor Cal and was instantly charmed. There’s a nice flirtation that promises more when you’re walking around Los Angeles in the evening. But it’s Ramadan now, and he has to control his cravings for now. He must learn to open himself emotionally to a new love.

“You seem like a beautiful Muslim,” Cal says during his first conversation with Moe. In fact, Mo derives much of his identity from his honest beliefs, which for him do not conflict with his sexual orientation. On the contrary: “Being gay teaches me to be a better Muslim,” explains Mo, who is perhaps somewhat heralded. No wonder Sam calls him “Our Master Islam” in a sarcastic tone. Mo and Cale repeatedly discuss God and religious interpretation. This results in some enlightening moments that convey the characteristics and perspectives of the Muslim lifestyle to a different or non-religious audience. The title “Iftar” means, for example, breaking the fast in the evening in Ramadan, which soon became a fixed date between Moon and Kal.

The journey is the true story


Movie Poster: “Breaking Fast” has been shown as VOD at the Salzgeber Club since June 16, 2022

In his cinematic debut, author and director Mike Muslim chose a clearly defined theme in the romantic comedy genre. The bottom line is that with its appearance on a small scale, it hardly deviates from the established formula. It’s clear from the first meeting that Cale and Mo belong together – the actual story is how we get there. The gay RomCom feels fresh with the extraordinary and likable men who populate the queer community of West Hollywood. Where the Camel’s Amin, as a stern and stern sam friend, still uses well-known sidekick styles, Mo is completely out of the ordinary with his aggressive faith. Gay love and Islam are often at odds, while Mo seems to connect the two worlds easily.

Unlike the relatives of his former lover Hassan, who appears as a representative of stubborn religiosity, Mo’s intimate family accepts his homosexuality unconditionally. So Mo is in no way struggling to reconcile his faith with being gay. Instead, an emotionally trapped man feels the natural sadness of a failed romantic relationship. A crisis can overtake anyone. Meanwhile, Cale grapples with his own family complications – and a drinking problem. Muslim opens some problem areas, but does not succumb to the seriousness of the content.

Easy watching with great music

Instead, “Breaking Fast” no frills is a quiet, engaging “easy watch” with great music and subtle shifts in focus, in short: offbeat mainstream. With love-filled montage sequences, warm lighting, and hilarious joke lines, Mike Muslim sets the standards for romantic comedy, but gives everything a new look with the characters’ life situations. Since Mo isn’t allowed to mushroom until after sunset, the movie spins more into the night, which doesn’t quite by accident lead to neat visuals filled with neon signs, neon lights, and reflections on the asphalt.

As in Richard Linklater’s “Before” trilogy (1995-2013), the evolution between the two lovers is evident in a series of scenes of dialogue and gracious monologues as they walk, dine and drive. Haze Solomon (“Killing Jesus,” 2015) and Michael Cassidy (“Army of the Dead,” 2021) get along wonderfully as Mo and Cal.

optimistic conclusion

Movies are always a theme between the two. Her shared preference for the older version of “Superman” with Christopher Reeve is also reflected in the plot. Like Clark Kent/Superman, who as an extraterrestrial adapts to and almost embodies the American way of life, Mo lives in the United States as the “completely integrated” son of immigrant parents. And just like the comic/movie character, Mo can count on the unreserved love of his loved ones.

Ultimately, the concept of portraying a gay Muslim as the archetypal hero of the RomCom leads to an optimistic conclusion that finally reconciles Islam and gay love. This is well-made entertainment – and a balm to the souls of heterogeneous Muslims who want to live out their identities freely.

The text first appeared on sissymag.de.

Information about the movie

the breakfast. Romantic Comedy USA 2020. Director. Mike Muslim. Cast: Haz Soleiman, Michael Cassidy, Amin El-Gamal, Patrick Sabungwe, Christopher Jehanke, Rola Gardiner, Veronica Cartwright. Show duration: 92 minutes. Language: The original English version with German translation. Rental FSK 12: Salzgeber. Since June 16, 2022 as VOD at the Salzgeber Club

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