Salvation Army (2014) — Morocco
This coming of age story isn't a great movie, but it's a brave and important movie, for it broaches a subject that is otherwise Verboten, namely, growing up gay in a poor neighborhood in Casablanca. This screen version is an adaptation of the 2009 autobiographical novel of the same title by Abdellah Taïa of Casablanca. When he came out in 2007, in a country where homosexuality is illegal, Taïa became the first openly gay Arab writer. Although he's published eight novels, this is his first film, and it gives the Arab world its first on-screen gay protagonist. In the movie, young Abdellah must deal with his emerging adolescent desires, a violent family that includes sexual hypocrisy, and predatory older men. The movie fast forwards ten years to an older Abdellah, who is then in Geneva (the real-life Taïa is based in Paris). I'd love more insight on two points — at the beach, his brother is reading Christ Recrucified by Nikos Kazantzakis, and at the end of the movie in Geneva, Abdellah finds refuge in a Salvation Army hostel. I watched this movie on Amazon Streaming. In Arabic and French with English subtitles.