After exploring the gay Muslim community in A Jihad for Love, filmmaker Parvez Sharma turns the camera on himself as he clandestinely films his pilgrimage to Mecca.

Sharma’s journey shines a light on Saudi Arabia, a world where aggressive modern capitalism and an oppressive interpretation of Islam sit side-by-side; as it turns out, there’s a Starbucks right next to the Kabba.

But while its critique of the Saudi government is damning, at its heart the film is an intimate exploration of its creator’s attempt to reconcile his faith with his sexuality; can you be gay and be a good Muslim?

Some may find Sharma’s pilgrimage too introspective to be accessible, but his bravery in making a film like A Sinner in Mecca cannot be denied. A stunning piece of work.



DIRECTOR: Parvez Sharma

SYNOPSIS: Openly gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma documents his Hajj pilgrimage through Saudi Arabia – a country where homosexuality is punishable by death.

Sheffield Doc/Fest 2015 runs from June 5th-10th. Tickets are still available, and One Room With A View’s coverage will continue throughout the festival.