Review: Skies Are Not Just Blue

A rare look into the Muslim LGBTQ+ community in short film

Skies Are Not Just Blue Skies Are Not Just Blue

By Nantenin Barry

SKIES ARE NOT JUST BLUE is a short film directed by Lysandre Cosse-Tremblay, a graduate from the École des medias at UQAM, and released in 2018 in Montreal. Through a very warm and human lens, the film focuses on the experiences of three young adults Yara, Monib and Tariq plus A. who remained anonymous, as they proudly manage their identities of being part of both the Muslim and the LGBTQ+ community and the difficulties associated to it.

Due to a general lack of representation of LGBTQ + minorities, this film raises awareness on the existence of LGBTQ+ Muslims, a community that tends to be either forgotten or ignored.

SKIES ARE NOT JUST BLUE also depicts to the viewer the complexity of managing two identities that could seem incompatible. Each of the followed individuals despite coming from different backgrounds and having different lives are confronted to similar difficulties. They all seem to experience cultural conflict as they do not fully belong to their Muslim community and yet most of them did not break ties with this community. The telephonic conversation between the two brothers Monib and Tariq, and their mother is a perfect example of this difficult relationship and the social pressure to conform it can lead to. On the other hand, Yara’s experience demonstrates how after feeling excommunicated from a religious community, individuals can continue to pursue their religion but end up being secluded from their community. The anonymous people interviewed in this film had to leave and entirely loose contact with their home country in order to escape from persecution. Their experience is an extreme example of the alienation that can result from this dual identity and the negative impact it can have on people’s mental health.

The film has an empowering and touching note as despite the many difficulties experienced, these individuals proudly claim their dual identity and face their lives with a great strength of character.

SKIES ARE NOT JUST BLUE is overall a well-directed film and I truly recommend watching it.

Skies Are Not Just Blue is available on Tënk until August 7th.