Seyran Ates: Sex, Revolution and Islam

Nefise Özkal Lorentzen

Personal portrait of Seyran Ateş, a brave and inspiring woman working for the modernization of Islam. Although she is under great pressure and needs permanent police protection, her optimism and love overcome many obstacles. Her main message: Islam needs a sexual revolution.

She is a bisexual Muslim, a feminist and a lawyer living in Berlin. Seyran Ateş loves her religion deeply. But she also has grave concerns over its outdated, sexist and violent manifestations. Her book Islam needs a sexual revolution, and the fact that she founded a mosque without gender separation and with an open door for the LGBTQ community, have earned her a fatwa and permanent police protection. But her strong longing for freedom, developed as a child, ensures she will not give up her fight.

We follow her on a journey around the world, looking for the roots of extremism and for ways to combat it with love. She talks to sex workers in a German brothel, Uyghur LGBTQ youth in China and the parents and sister of a girl who was killed by Anders Breivik in Utøya. We also meet her nephew Tugay, who is gay and thought he needed to cure himself with religion. In the end, with the help of Ateş and that same religion, he accepted who he is. Inspiring and hopeful.


Nefise Özkal Lorentzen
Country of production
81 minutes
Spoken language
German, Turkish
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