Started in 2007 to keep a track of gay films that I watched, this blog has come much further than I had planned. There are tons of movies that I need to watch and review here. Through this blog, I want to give you genuine, my personal heart-felt review of the films that I see. These are my personal thoughts and opinions about the films and I would love to hear your thoughts on these films as well. I always reply to comments in a day or two. Please help me make my blog more popular by becoming a member, following it and by recommending it to your friends. As far as I know this is one of the very very few gay movie review blogs where reviews are not linked or copy-paste imdb summary. Enjoy and do keep writing your feedback.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Muslim Drag Queens (Documentary) (UK)

This documentary was telecast on UK’s Channel 4. Being gay has never been easy for anyone past or present included. When you are asian, it is a bit harder because of culture and if you are asian and Muslim, then the difficulty goes on more level up. This documentary very effectively follows life of gay asians, specifically Muslims and drag queens. Narrated by Sir Ian McKellan, the documentary’s focus is on young men who are unable to publicly reconcile their sexuality with their cultural identity and traditions.

Asif, is a good looking young Muslim man who loves to dress up in drag and perform. The documentary starts with him showing us the death threat emails that he has received. He is popular and successful as his alter ego Asifa Lahore. But behind the expertly applied make-up, she is fighting a major battle on behalf of all those who don't dare to wear their sexuality so openly. Then we see Imran, whose alter ego is Zareena Khan and i looking of love everywhere. She gets lots of proposals from men all the tim, but ultimately they (Muslim married men, in most cases), want to just have sex with her because they feel that since she is in drag, they are still straight. And finally we have Ibrahim, you gay man, who grew up in Mauritius, recently came out and has supportive family and now wants to venture into drag. We see Asif training and nurturing him for his debut. All is not hunky dory though. Asif also wants to hold a walk to bring more prominence in the society for gay asians but is very disappointed when its the Britishers who show up for the march but none of the gay asian community shows up. She is very disheartened. But ultimately, things change for her when she is nominated for Attitude magazine’s pride awards, which she eventually wins as well.

The documentary shows quite a few examples, specially in the case of Zareena Khan, the difficulty for many LGBT Muslims in expressing their true identity. Unlike most documentaries, this one was not boring or bleak. In fact, the characters they picked had interesting stories to tell, good narration and direction; expertly injecting the subject matter with a hefty dose of humour. It is undoubtedly very brave of the three main characters who had the guts to open their hearts out in open for the world to see without fearing for their life. They can be role models for a lot of LGBT youth , not necessarily of Muslim background. In an interview apparently Asifa mentioned “I’m a Muslim, I’m British/Pakistani and I’m also a drag queen. I totally understood the risks and I totally understood the impact that it would have on my life and I decided to do it because the issue is really important to me."

An eye opener for me in various ways, more documentaries like these deserve to be shown on public platforms throughout the world. (6.5/10)

No comments: