October 11th, 2015
Here, we enter the city of Mecca that has been forbidden to non-Muslims for 14 centuries. For gay filmmaker Parvez Sharma, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges — filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death. He ends up documenting his journey on nothing more than an iPhone and two smuggled, tiny cameras. On these never-before-filmed streets of ancient Mecca, he joins 4 million Muslims, from the majority, peace-loving pilgrims fulfilling a lifelong calling, to brutal jihadists for whom violence is a creed. They have all entered Mecca for the world’s largest pilgrimage: the Hajj. Sharma yearns to find his own place within an Islam he has always known, an Islam that bears no resemblance to the bastardized versions creating havoc around the Muslim world.