• Golden Globe Awards

Halal Love (Lebanon)

The Beirut-set satire Halal Love consists of three interconnected tales in which devout Muslims try to manage their love lives and desires without breaking any of their religion’s rules. While the comedy is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, it does provide humorous inside into how people deal with challenges of faith and desire in an Islamic environment.In order to avoid the nightly attentions of her husband and to satisfy him, middle aged housewife and mother of two Awatef is recruiting a second wife. Islam allows him four. But after the second wife smoothly integrates into the family and wins everyone over, Awatef has second thoughts. Meanwhile, across the hall live newlyweds Batoul and her suspicious husband Mokhtar. They often get into fights with Mokhtar screaming and threatening to divorce Batoul. When the pair finally separates, Mokhtar wants her back. However now, they must obey the strict rules imposed by religious law if they want to marry again. Mokhtar needs to first find his ex-wife another man to be able to marry her again.The third story revolves around freshly divorced Loubna. Instead of going back to her parent’s home, she tries a temporary marriage to Abu Ahmed whose long-ago proposal was nixed by her family. Even though Loubna thought of him as her true love, she comes to realize that Abu is not as great as she thought he would be. So when the temporary marriage expires, she decides to leave him. Writer-DirectorAssad Fouladkar is best known for his eight seasons of Egypt’s most popular sitcom A Man and Six Women. His short film God have Mercy [Kyrie-Eleison] won 13 international awards and was a finalist at the Oscar competition for Best student film. His first feature film When Maryam spoke out won major film awards in the Arab world, Europe and the United States and was Lebanon’s official entry to the academy awards.Halal Love is his second feature and was selected by the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and Open Doors of the Locarno film festival.