Although Egyptian cinema has been banned for its sexual scenes, sex is still a major factor in Arab cinema. Arab movies have used sex symbols to tell stories, fueled different fantasies, and influenced the sexual consciousness of millions. However, some movies have been banned for their sex content, and there is no universally accepted definition of what constitutes a “sexy” movie. Below are the most notable films that feature sex in Arabic cinema.
The first film to use the term sex movies in an Arab film was Qoubla fil Sahra (1929), which featured a sexy narrating character. The film’s protagonist, played by the director’s brother, saves a foreign girl from a murderous uncle, while trying to prove that he did not kill his uncle. Sex scenes and extended orgies are the main features of the film, and the sexual content is undeniably sensual.
The Netflix Arabic movie has stirred intense public debate. While many critics have denounced it as a threat to family values, citing it as an example of promoting homosexuality, some have come to the movie’s defense. But is it acceptable to view such films? It is not clear whether the Arab world will tolerate sexy content, and the question is: will viewers watch the film if they are uncomfortable?