The 2008 surprise hit A Jihad For Love lands on DVD Thursday.

The controversial documentary 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.

In its limited release last year, the film appeared to draw a mainstream audience and surprised insiders with its high per-theater ticket average for a documentary.

The film first screened at the 2008 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.”

First-time director Sharma does not shy away from the taboo: A Jihad For Love tackles the difficult subject of gay Muslims living in countries dominated by religious anti-gay rhetoric.

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