A Jihad for Love (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Jihad for Love (2008)

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

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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.

Full Review… | December 9, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

For all the research, courage and passion that went into it, the movie is sometimes curiously one-note.

September 5, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

[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.

Full Review… | September 4, 2008
Washington Post
Top Critic

Often fascinating and provocative, although, as a film, it feels a bit long and somewhat repetitive.

Full Review… | August 22, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | August 1, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

The film is propelled by tales of Muslims wrestling with their faith and sexual identity.

August 1, 2008
Denver Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for A Jihad for Love

½

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.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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 Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Could have been much better in how it was edited and put together but it was good.

Sunil Jawahir
Sunil Jawahir

Super Reviewer

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