The film A Sinner in Mecca was screened in the Cultural Center Theater and it was a fascinating look into the life of a homosexual Muslim male who decided to go on Hajj. The film’s opening credits sequence is filmmaker and focal point of the film, Pavrez Sharma, washing himself as if he were preparing to enter the mosque for prayer and then the water turns red to signify blood. This would be haram (forbidden) to dirty oneself before entering a mosque and would show the utmost “disrespect” for Allah, but to wash in blood is even worse. This immediately caught my attention and I was hooked for the rest of the film. The film is recorded on an iphone so some of the footage can be shaking or blurry, but all in all you are able to get a rare glimpse into what Saudi Arabia and the Hajj actually looks like. You also are given insight into how being a homosexual in the holy city of Mecca is extremely dangerous and harrowing. We watch him as he experiences bouts of doubt of his faith, religious joy, and immense physical strain. This film shows how the identities of being Muslim and being homosexual are supposed to clash but I feel that by the end of the film, Pavrez proves that this does not have to be the case. By completing his Hajj, he remains a devoted Muslim and a married homosexual and shows that these two identities can live harmoniously within one person. He uses his filmmaking and his books to voice the problems of marginalized groups in his culture which is one of the many ways you can be civically engaged. I thought that this event was very eye opening and successful.