Time: 7:00 pm
Venue: Virtual Fest
Duration: 1h 21m
Writer & Director: MIKE MOSALLAM
Producers: SETH HAUER, SARAH BAZZI, BAY DARIZ, ALEX LAMPSOS, DAVIN MICHAELS
Cast: HAAZ SLEIMAN, MICHAEL CASSIDY, AMIN EL GAMAL, PATRICK SABONGUI, CHRISTOPHER J. HANKE, RULA GARDENIER, VERONICA CARTWRIGHT, ALINE ELASMAR, ROB WARNER, DOUG LOCKE
Genre: Comedy, Romance
2020 | USA | 92 MIN
Mo Hamoud (Haaz Sleiman), a mid-30s doctor living in West Hollywood, is full of passion and optimism which shows in every interaction he has. We meet him as he prepares to host dinner for his family on the first night of Ramadan, the holiest time of year for Mo, when Muslims fast from food, water, and impure thoughts and activities from sunrise to sunset.
Controlled, stable, and decisive, Mo is thrown off track when he finds his boyfriend, Hassan, in their bedroom, anxious and worried that he is about to be “out”-ed to his conservative, less-accepting family. Mo’s happy night is over, as Hassan makes a culturally-influenced decision to end their relationship.
Jumping forward a year, Mo is still reeling and alone, as Ramadan begins. It’s the first night of Ramadan, when Mo’s best friend, Sam, forces him to come out to his birthday party, in an effort to help him escape his own head. There, Mo meets Kal, an all-American white guy—and Mo’s opposite in every way. The two have an unlikely spark, which leads to a nightlong walk through the streets of West Hollywood.
What seems like a one-night stand becomes something more as Kal continues showing up in Mo’s life, insisting on cooking for him, and breaking fast with him each night. Familiar with Muslim customs from his childhood as a military kid, Kal was raised knowing that “those who fast, should not cook.”
Mo and Kal’s Iftar (the fast-breaking sunset meal) discussions navigate life, loss, family, and faith, and they learn more about each other (and themselves) than they ever expected, and possibly more than they bargained for.
At first glance Kal seems to accept Mo for who he is, but does Mo? While the relationship seems charmed on the surface, they will (as with most budding relationships) reach a point of reckoning, as more about each other’s beliefs and priorities are revealed.
Mo, a character very much rooted in habit, falls back on old patterns, and it looks like he may run from what he has. But in the end, he goes to surprising lengths, with Sam’s help, to win Kal back, and allows himself to be embraced by love, and family.
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