Shall I Compare You To A Summer’s Day?

Queer experimental Arab film, a sort of 1001 Nights where two lovers discuss their relationship and those from their past, which spiral out into a web of a community.

Very kinda unique and playful format, utilising song, dance, poetry, animation, direct interviews with camera, and action on green screen. It keeps each narrative suspended in its own space, able to move backwards and forwards in time, but not necessarily linearly, the way a real world dramatisation would. It also feels very unflinching, as people discuss break-ups with those they lost their lovers to, or their exes who still don’t listen to their hurt.

The stories span the gamut of experiences from intensely loving to alienating and indifferent to violent and painful. People struggle with love, sex, commitment, monogamy, polyamory, addiction, recovery, loss and abuse. At times it’s not clear where one experience comes in time or how accurate it is when compared to another’s memory of the same event.

It is very non-judgemental, there’s an unspoken acknowledgement that these are all young men with growing to do, and their shit to sort out. Even when communication is emphasised, the ability to really listen and hear each other remains a struggle. That classic romantic theme of how to understand and be understood by those you love.

The film is neither entirely autobiographical nor fictional. It is an amalgam of the filmmaker’s experiences, and the writers, and the cast who improvised based on their own histories. While firmly Arab and queer, the conflicts and longings are universally recognisable.

Interesting film.