Closing Gala: Breaking Fast
Back in 2015, director Mike Mosallam’s short film Breaking Fast played a number of respected film festivals, including Cannes. He has now adapted the short into a full-length feature of the same name, and it is just as charming and delightful as the short version. Mo (Haaz Sleiman) is a successful doctor living in Los Angeles reeling from his recent break-up with his closeted ex- boyfriend. A year later, Mo is dreading spending Ramadan alone. His supportive family is unable to be with him this year, and his best friend Sam is more interested in pulling Mo out of his isolated shell and encouraging him to dip back into the dating pool than spending the evening iftars quietly at home. When Mo reluctantly shows up to Sam’s birthday bash, he’s introduced to All-American white guy Kal (Michael Cassidy), an actor who surprises Mo with his fluent Arabic. Mo is reluctantly charmed by Kal, and the two end up leaving the party to walk each other home. The next day, they run into each other again, and Kal invites himself over for iftar. Over the next month, they break fast together almost every day, and form an unlikely flirtation, simultaneously trying to soften each other’s walls.The film is primarily interested in exploring the tensions of desire and it’s intersections with race, faith, class, and gender presentation, which makes for a more thematically-rich film than your average rom-com. With pitch perfect performances from the whole cast, Breaking Fast is the perfect sweet way to close the Festival. Q&A with Mike Mosallam.
Breaking Fast | Mike Mosallam | USA | 2020 | 92 min | Arabic and English