A controversial documentary that looks at the lives of gays and lesbians in Muslim countries is performing well in several U.S. markets.
A Jihad For Love explores the lives of gay and lesbian Muslims from around the world. The documentary, which interviews gay and lesbian Muslims from twelve countries, and was barred in South Africa, is the work of Indian director Parvez Sharma.
Now in limited release, the film appears to be drawing a mainstream audience. In its sixteenth week of screening on only a handful of screens, the documentary managed to post the highest per-theater average of any documentary, according to a docsider.com post.
The film premiered in February at the Berlin Film Festival. During its premiere, Sharma's festival blog gave compelling reasons for the making of the film, as gay and lesbian Muslim voices from around the globe reached out to him to tell their stories. A seventeen-year-old boy wrote: “In November 2007 my parents found out about my homosexuality and my third world war started. I was kept isolated during a month, very much confined to my home with no means of communication with the outside world whatsoever. I was given the ultimatum to either cure my self right away or be murdered and eliminated by my 30 year old brother/stoned to death by my father ... Please Parvez, I must see your documentary for I can no longer live and love with the knowledge that I am displeasing Allah.”
A Jihad For Love tackles the difficult subject of being gay and Muslim, and does not shy away from the taboo.
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