A Jihad for Love

Critics Consensus

This powerful documentary explores an important subject -- homosexuality in the Muslim world -- with humanity and courage.



Total Count: 32


Audience Score

User Ratings: 675
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Movie Info

"A Jihad for Love" is the world's first feature documentary to explore the complex global intersections between Islam and homosexuality. Parvez enters the many worlds of Islam by illuminating multiple stories as diverse as Islam itself. The film travels a wide geographic arc presenting us lives from India, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Egypt, South Africa and France. Always filming in secret and as a Muslim, Parvez makes the film from within the faith, depicting Islam with the same respect that the film's characters show for it.

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Critic Reviews for A Jihad for Love

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (16)

  • Covering more than half a dozen countries, Sharma stretches himself too thin, and as a result the documentary seems sketchy; he would have done well to present on-screen some of the background information in his production notes.

    Dec 9, 2008 | Full Review…
  • For all the research, courage and passion that went into it, the movie is sometimes curiously one-note.

    Sep 5, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • [Director Sharma's] focus on religion and this particular religion's all but certain hostility to same-sex love means there can be no answers to the spiritual searching of many of his characters.

    Sep 4, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Often fascinating and provocative, although, as a film, it feels a bit long and somewhat repetitive.

    Aug 22, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A Jihad for Love is a courageous documentary on the plight of gays in the Muslim world, and it reveals how the devout attempt to reconcile their sexual orientation and their faith.

    Aug 1, 2008 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film is propelled by tales of Muslims wrestling with their faith and sexual identity.

    Aug 1, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for A Jihad for Love

  • Apr 12, 2010
    What unites the conservative elements of otherwise disparate religions is a hatred of gays and lesbians. The heartfelt and enlightening documentary "A Jihad for Love" takes this topic from a Muslim point of view. From South Africa to France to Iran to Turkey to Pakistan, gays and lesbians share their experiences. Some participants are courageous enough to have their faces revealed while others are more cautious. As depicted in the film, Islam is more diverse than usually perceived, as the interpretation of sacred texts is up for debate. For example, the only relevant phrases from the Koran come up in the context of Sodom and Gomorrah, and as a gay imam puts it, the crimes committed there were rape, not consensual by any means.(The jihad in the title of the film is not here meant as it is usually thought of as a holy war, but as a struggle.) Another text forbids lesbianism but the worst punishment is a scolding. In some Muslim countries like Iran and Egypt, homosexuality is illegal and punishments vary but can include execution, causing Muslim gays and lesbians to live abroad as exiles. Turkey is Muslim, yet secular, and has no laws against homosexuality while Pakistan and India have rarely enforced statutes inherited from colonial England.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 16, 2009
    Could have been much better in how it was edited and put together but it was good.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Sep 18, 2008
    Extremely interesting subject matter, though I never can help to think, as an atheist, that it would always be much easier to leave the oppressive religion then to try and reconcile it with ones own life. The gay Iman impressed me very much, as did the lesbian couple from Turkey. Technically not the best documentary, but it is very close to its subjects and conveys their difficulties vividly.
    Ina S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 21, 2008
    A lightweight documentary on treatments of homosexuality in the Muslim world. Unfortunately the individuals interviewed didn't add the gravity to this situation which it deserved.
    John B Super Reviewer

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