Review: Love Will Come Later
- This debut feature by young Swiss documentary-maker Julia Furer depicts the existential torments endured by Samir, a young Moroccan on the hunt for true love
Presented in a world premiere within the Zurich Film Festival’s Focus competition, Julia Furer’s first feature film Love Will Come Later [+see also:
interview: Julia Furer
film profile] had already been lucky enough to be selected for impressive line-ups dedicated to projects in development, such as the DOK.forum Marketplace organised by DOK.fest Munich, where it triumphed, the Haus des Dokumentarfilms’ 2018 Pitch Award and the Visions du Réel Festival’s 2019 Swiss Films Previews.
Having always harboured an interest in the documentary form, Julia Furer is now treating us to a sincere portrait of a young man looking for a type of happiness which clashes with his family’s teachings and the increasingly codified rules of the society he lives in. What is true love? Can such a deep and destabilising emotion be experienced outside of a specific context which harnesses and controls it? These are just a couple of the questions which Samir, the film’s protagonist, tries to find answers for, bouncing between the western mentality imported by the many tourists who stay in Marrakech’s hotels and his sisters’ ultra-traditionalist discourse. Unable to renounce his identity or his culture but longing to escape far away so as to experience his emotions freely, Samir feels trapped by Morocco and its many contradictions. Julia Furer follows her young protagonist, scrutinising his states of mind and going so far as to enter into the intimacy of his bedroom where he receives a proposition to join his summer lover in Europe. Excited but at the same time frightened at the thought of an adventure which would take him far away from his suffocating yet reassuring family set-up, Samir backs out, to the surprise of many of his travel companion friends. Imprisoned in a complicated world characterised by evenings spent in nightclubs with friends, brief flirtations with tourists looking for flings often of only a fleeting nature, and deep conversations, which turn into warnings, with his mum and his sisters, who dream of seeing him married to a “good believer”, the protagonist of Love Will Come Later eventually makes an unexpected decision: he agrees to marry a cousin who lives with her family in France without ever having met her in person. Love might “come later”, after he’s married, the older men insist. Either way, the film ends on this possibility, which sees Samir travel far away, but only in a geographical sense. Unable to wholly abandon a highly patriarchal model of marriage, which he does try to bend to his own beliefs (equality between husband and wife and division of labour at home), Samir embarks upon a titanic if not utopian undertaking: reconciling tradition (or rather, orthodoxy) with progress. The director’s choice to drill down into a male character who’s immersed in and fatally influenced - though not totally dominated - by a highly patriarchal society is particularly interesting. Incapable of constructing his own individual sense of masculinity, multi-faceted and constantly evolving, Samir seems torn as he seeks out a balance which continually (and inevitably) slips between his fingers.
(Translated from Italian)
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