Al Nisa: Black Muslim Women in Atlanta’s Gay Mecca

DIRECTOR: Red Summer

Eight women share a meal. It’s a simple act, but in this case, they also share deep soul sustenance as Black Muslim lesbians previously suffering from terrible isolation. They are thrilled to discover they are not alone. These self-aware, powerful women articulate the different ways they’ve braided this triple identity throughout their lives. They are humbled and relieved to be able to be themselves at last, their whole selves, in the company of newfound sisters.

Director and participant Red Summer shines a light on this potent moment. The women recognize the privilege of being able to speak out. In other Muslim countries, homosexuality is outlawed. In this country, death threats are common. This first generation of out lesbians in the Black Muslim community is conscious of being role models to younger people. From their unique perspective, the women offer thoughtful critiques of sexism and homophobia within the cultural and religious institutions they have inhabited. With shifting relationships to the mosque, these women affirm the primacy of individual spiritual connection with Allah. The making of this film launched a growing radical community bridging spirituality and queer identity.

— Carol Harada

PRECEDED BY:

Puppy Dreams

DIR Alex Delyle 2012 USA 8 min

Forced to push beyond her cerebral tendencies toward daydreaming, drawing, and yearning for someone slightly out of reach, mono-stricken teenage tomboy Sid opens up about her illness and begins growing into her truly singular self.

AT&T Audience Award Text Voting Code: D300

Co-presented by:
Level Ground
NIA Collective

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