Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is celebrated each year in the month of June to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Stonewall is considered the turning point of the Gay Liberation Movement, which sought to move beyond the social stigma and shame of the queer experience, and instead celebrate queer identity as a point of pride. This year, to celebrate, we have decided to spend a few week highlighting specific cultural experiences within the queer community to showcase the variety of stories within this large rainbow umbrella.
This week we wish to celebrate the Middle Eastern Queer experience by highlighting these select films. Happy Pride, y’all!
Lalia, Salma, and Nur share an apartment in the vibrant heart of Tel Aviv. Lalia, a criminal lawyer with a wicked wit, loves to burn off her workday stress in the underground club scene. Salma, slightly more subdued, is a DJ and bartender. Nur is a younger, religious Muslim girl who moves into the apartment in order to study at the university. Nur is both intrigued and intimidated by her two sophisticated roommates. When her conservative fiance visits, he is horrified by her secular friends, entreating her to hasten their marriage, leave Tel Aviv, and assume her rightful role as a wife. She refuses, and his violent rebuttal leaves all of the women shaken. Salma and Lalia also face turmoil: Lalia has found love with a modern Muslim man whose acceptance proves less than unconditional, and Salma discovers that her Christian family in a northern Galilean village is not as liberal as they claim. These three very different women find themselves doing the same balancing act between tradition and modernity, citizenship and culture, fealty and freedom. –RB Media
A powerful and bittersweet tale of friendship and love in Lebanon, a nation that has been plagued by civil war for decades and where untraditional relationships and ideas are reacted to with violence and hatred. Jason, an innocent young Lebanese man, befriends five free spirited young wanderers, who, like himself, are lost between traditional morals and their new generation beliefs in what is truly right. Their taboo alliances and out-loud statements result in tragedy and heartache, but in the end their commitment to one another and to a life of tolerance and equality allow them to persevere. – Ariztical Entertainment
Abdellah is a young gay man navigating the sexual, racial and political climate of Morrocco. Growing up in a large family, Abdellah is caught between a distant father, an authoritarian mother, and a handful of predatory older men, in a society that denies his homosexuality. As a college student, Abdellah moves to Geneva and while faced with the new possibilities of freedom, he grapples with the loss of his homeland. - Strand Releasing Home Video
Mo is a practicing Muslim still reeling from heartbreak. When an All-American guy named Kal offers to join him in his nightly Iftars, the traditional meal eaten my Muslims during Ramadan, meal after meal, the two start to discover they have more in common than meets the eye. –Wolfe Video
As much a political and societal commentary as it is an original romantic story. Compelling and intimate, Michael Mayer's taut first feature follows a border-crossing relationship between an Israeli lawyer and an increasingly desperate Palestinian student. Nimer, an ambitious Palestinian student in the West Bank, dreams of a better life abroad. -Breaking Glass
The sequel to Yossi & Jagger finds Dr. Yossi Hoffman reminiscing about his love ten years after his death. However, as he encounters a group of young soldiers, one of them, Tom, reignites his romantic feelings. - Strand Releasing Home Video