1111111111111 (igiveyoumylife) wrote in queerarabs,
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A Jihad for Love (2007) Torn by the Contradictions of Being Gay and Muslim

By NATHAN LEE
Published: May 21, 2008
NYTimes.com

Sad to say, “A Jihad for Love” is not a sequel to the pornographic satire “The Raspberry Reich” (2004), in which pseudo-revolutionaries exhort their comely comrades to “join the homosexual intifada!” It is, rather more arduously, a dispatch from the outer limits of marginalization: a documentary on devout Muslims struggling with their homosexuality.



Angst is the norm in this heartfelt debut by the filmmaker Parvez Sharma, whose documentary ranges from Johannesburg to Istanbul, from doubt to despair (with a happy detour among the drag queens of India). He does manage to locate a headstrong lesbian in Paris, albeit one whose face, like those of many of the subjects here, has been digitally blurred.

“If we are truly Muslims,” runs her contradictory lament, “we have no right to alter his creation.”

Mr. Sharma’s film emphasizes testimony over context to such a degree that it feels at first of little use to anyone except gay Muslims who might take comfort in knowing they’re not alone. But the documentary gains depth of feeling as it goes and even develops something of a nail-biting narrative as it follows a clique of Iranian men who flee to central Turkey in hopes of applying for political asylum in Canada.

A JIHAD FOR LOVE

Opens on Wednesday in Manhattan.

Directed by Parvez Sharma; in English, Arabic, Farsi, Urdu, Hindi, Turkish and French, with English subtitles; directors of photography, Mr. Sharma and Berke Bas; edited by Juliet Weber; music by Richard Horowitz and Sussan Deyhim; produced by Mr. Sharma and Sandi DuBowski; released by First Run Features. At the IFC Center, 323 Avenue of the Americas, at Third Street, Greenwich Village. Running time: 1 hour 21 minutes. This film is not rated.

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xposted to queerdesis, queerpoc, queerarabs, queernyc
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