Film Club: A Jihad for Love


On Saturday, April 12, right after Havdalah at 7:00 pm, BCC’s Film Club will screen A Jihad for Love – a 2007 documentary on gay, lesbian, and transgender Muslims across the Muslim and Western worlds. Both gay and lesbian individuals are filmed in this documentary movie, which incidentally are classified in the low budget films category.

JUST ADDED!! Omar El-Hajoui, the LGBT Outreach Director of Muslims for Progressive Values (MPV) Los Angeles chapter will join us for this screening! After the film, Omar will discuss his thoughts on the film and his personal experiences as a gay Muslim.

Muslims from France, Canada, Turkey, India, Iran and Egypt are documented in gay and lesbian people in subcultures for homosexual communities. The documentary movie then follows them to the West where gay rights are recognised and more acceptable.

A South African, Muhsin Hendriks is the main focus of this documentary movie as a previously married man with three children that was forced into marriage to a women and kept his gay status a hidden fact for many years. As is often the case in low budget films the faces of people whose lives are documented are not seen, but what makes A Jihad for Love different is that you can see all the people portrayed in the movie. It adds to the depth and tragic lives that gay and lesbians often have to live with and the difficulties they have to overcome to be accepted by communities.

Debates with heterosexual people and gay Muslims is something that makes this a different type of documentary movie and the references the gay communities uses from the Quran. They still have strong traditional beliefs and views and want to be accepted for who they are as they get different types of answer when they quote the Quran.

A Jihad for Love is translated into nine different languages and filmed in twelve different countries and because of this it sometimes seem as if the documentary loses track of its purpose and appears a bit scrambled. The different lives and stories are not always quite connected it appears, but the focus still try to portray that homosexuality is indeed not forbidden in the Quran.

The producer is Sandi Simcha Dubowski the director/producer of the 2001 ground breaking documentary Trembling before God which featured various gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews struggling to reconcile their faith and sexual orientation.

All BCC film events are free and open to the public.  Feel free to bring your favorite snacks to share!

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