While Arabic films have traditionally avoided explicit sexuality, there are many titles out there that deal with this topic. Hammam al-Malatily is one of the most famous examples. This 1973 film openly depicts gay relationships and stars Mohammed al-Araby. Another classic film is Al-Suoud ila al-Hawiyah, which was made in 1978. The films show how the Arab community has overcome its conservative traditions to embrace their sexuality.
Egypt banned the first arab film for having sex scenes. Masat al-Hayah, directed by Wedad Orfi, was banned in 1929 because of its content. The first time that an Arab film was banned for sexual content, the government responded by banning it. As a result, many movies with sexual content are banned today. Although there have been a number of censorship attempts in the Middle East, the content remains an important part of the cinematic experience for millions of viewers.