For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presented two serious challenges: filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death. Director Parvez Sharma took those risks as he embarked on his Hajj pilgrimage, a journey considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam, his religion. He brought back a story of the religion as it has never been told, having endured the greatest Jihad there is, which is the struggle with the self.
A Sinner in Mecca had its world premiere in April, 2015, at Hot Docs in Toronto. It will open theatrically in New York on September 4th, and in Los Angeles at The Laemmle Music Hall on September 11th.
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