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Is 'The Wedding' new beginning for LGBTQ cinema in Egypt?

Film director Sam Abbas' "The Wedding," which tells the story of a gay man forced into a heterosexual marriage, will be screened privately and by invitation only in the Middle East, making the already controversial movie even more controversial.

A man and a woman are together in bed in a dimly lit bedroom. He remains motionless and distant, engrossed by something on his laptop, as she snuggles against him, trying to attract his attention. This is the opening scene of the trailer of “The Wedding,” the forthcoming movie by the Egyptian American director Sam Abbas. It foreshadows the marital disaster to come.

Abbas' film features the story of Rami, a homosexual Egyptian Muslim played by Abbas, who is forced to marry Sara, played by Nikohl Boosheri. The movie is scheduled for a November release, but the trailer, posted Aug. 23 on various movie sites, has already caused a stir. “The Wedding” has also made international headlines in various industry magazines as the first Egyptian queer movie, although a number of other Egyptian films have addressed homosexuality since the 1970s.

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