- Written and Directed by Shamim Sarif
- Regent Releasing/here! Films
- 94 Minutes
South Africa, 1950s
The World Unseen is set in 1950s South Africa, at the start of Apartheid. The film is a brilliant examination of the intricate hierarchies within the constructs of race, class, sex, sexual identity during this historical context and time period. The vibrant and willful Amina has rejected the confines of her traditional Indian community to live life on her own terms, as a lesbian, as a café owner whose business partner is "colored," as a just activist intent on saving her loved ones and country from the violence of intolerance and hatred. When she meets Miriam, a young housewife whose arranged marriage has left her loveless and weary, the two discover an unexpected and powerful attraction. Can they realize their desires? Can they create a world yet unseen?
The Location Café
A character in and of itself, Amina’s Location Café is a colorblind oasis where all are welcome, where love can flourish, where two eyes meet and find transcendence. It is the shelter in such a horrid storm. Think Fried Green Tomatoes meets Out of Africa (a very simplistic and perhaps unfair comparison, but I am reminded of it nonetheless). How essential these havens have been to the survival of those who live outside the imposed institutionalized norms.
Lisa Ray and Sheetal Sheth
Hottie alert! Theirs are such tender, sexy, onscreen kisses. I definitely was sold. Lisa Ray as Miriam and Sheetal Sheth as Amina inhabited well their roles, made them believable, and at times heart wrenching to watch. Definitely keep them on the radar and pray for further lesbian connections.
A Moving Film
My Rating: 4 ½ stars. I was deeply moved by this film, its lyrical layering, beautiful cinematography, and inspiring message of courage and passion. I appreciated the vital history lessons and reminders of how far we have come in the fight against bigotry and prejudice as well as how far we must go.