"Thus open the gates of paradise."

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Hideous Kinky

06 Apr 2002

Marrakech. The name alone conjures up images of other films I've seen that were set there. There was Marrakech Express a couple of years ago. And while I don't recall the action in The Sheltering Sky taking place there, it certainly is evocative of it, and so if you'll allow me license, let's say it took place there too. And so did an episode of the television show Absolutely Fabulous. Honey yogurt and almonds. Yum.

Thoughts on Hideous Kinky: Get past the title. It has very little to do with anything. The film is neither hideous, nor kinky. If anything, it is lovely and glowing. It's the early 70's and Kate Winslet plays Julia, a young English woman living in Morocco with her two young girls. While they clearly are residents, they are always treated as outsiders, as rich foreigners who should probably go home. Over and over, people seem to be asking -- Where is your husband? Why don't you return to England? What about your daughters? Questions put off at first, but gradually answered as we come to know her.

This is one of those movies where giving a sketchy plot summary would be a complete waste of time. The story isn't about doing things or where she is going so much as about the route taken and the decisions made on the way. What way? The way of love. She is on a spiritual quest for love. Suffism, romantic love, love of her children, repressed love of their father. And yet the story doesn't pander by making it all look easy -- it's not. Life is brutish and arbitrary, it says, and the rub is how you deal with it.

Related Sites

Hideous Kinky Official Web Site
The House of Morocco