The movie "Joyland" failed to make the Oscar nominations for best international feature film. But the first Pakistani film to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival is still making headlines. It tells the story of a married man who falls in love with a transgender erotic dancer. The controversy around "Joyland" has put the spotlight on the issue of transgender people in Pakistan, known as khwaja siras, who have a special status in Pakistani law. However, the community is still discriminated against and ostracised in society. FRANCE 24's team reports.
"Joyland" was initially censored by the Pakistani government, under pressure from Islamist parties, before it was finally allowed to be shown from November 16. However, very few cinemas are showing the film.
In Pakistan, a conservative Muslim country, homosexuality is considered a crime and is punishable by a prison sentence of at least two years.