The World Unseen

The World Unseen

UK, 2007, 94 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Coming Out, Drama, Lesbian, Politics, Racism, South Asian
Program: Showcases
Language: English

DIRECTOR: Shamim Sarif

Early apartheid South Africa is an unlikely place to be free. Yet here’s Amina (Sheetal Sheth, Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World) scandalizing her conservative Indian community by living as she pleases. They gossip about her wearing men’s clothes and taking women lovers; they wonder if she’ll ever marry. Furthermore, Amina owns a successful café with her “coloured” business partner Jacob. To skirt the law, they pretend he is just an employee.
Into this haven of rebels comes young wife and mother Miriam (Lisa Ray, Water), who stuns Amina with her shy beauty. Their immediate mutual attraction surprises them both. Seeing such a self-possessed Indian woman makes Miriam think and feel things she hasn’t before. She discovers just how imprisoned she is in her traditional marriage and starts to look for ways to have her own voice and enter the larger world. As the two women get to know each other through a series of driving lessons, passion ensues, and events soon force them to stand up to the ever-vigilant and volatile apartheid police.
Bringing her award-winning novel to the screen, director Shamim Sarif gives us fully realized characters resisting dehumanization in a touching story of the daily fight for liberation and its immediate rewards, where the beauty of the surrounding land belies the turmoil in a system built on fear, hatred and separation. — CAROL HARADA

co-presented by

3rd I South Asian Films and Trikone



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