Shamim Sarif has brought
to the screen the motion picture adaptation of her critically acclaimed
and award winning debut novel, 'The World Unseen'. The human drama
is inspired by stories of her grandmother's life in South Africa
during the 1950's when the root of Apartheid began its treacherous
grip on the country, leaving individuals to deal with a long fight
for independence and identity.
The international cast,
is headed up by Canadian actress Lisa Ray (Deepa Mehta's Water -
which garnered a Best Foreign Picture Academy Award® nomination
in 2007), Sheetal Sheth (Looking for Comedy in the Moslem World),
Parvin Dabas (Monsoon Wedding), Bernard White (The Matrix) and Nandana
Sen (Black). Among the stellar South African cast are Grethe Fox,
David Dennis, Natalie Becker, Rajesh Gopie and Colin Moss.
In 1950's South Africa,
apartheid is just beginning. Free-spirited Amina has broken all
the rules of her own conventional Indian community in South Africa
by running a café, a safe haven of laughter, music and home-cooked
food; a grey area for those who fall outside the strict
black and white rules of the apartheid-led government.
include Aminas feisty waitress Doris, her gentle Coloured
business partner Jacob and the sparky White local postmistress Madeleine.
Long accustomed to the racial barriers of the country and its new
laws, Madeleine and Jacob nevertheless share a budding attraction.
Miriam, on the
other hand, is a doting mother to her children and a demure and
subservient wife to her chauvinistic, frustrated husband, Omar.
Quietly intelligent, Miriam has never assumed that she may have
choices in life.
Miriam meets Amina, their unexpected attraction throws them both
off balance. Although Miriam manages to subdue her fascination with
unconventional Amina, she finds herself slowly inspired to confront
familiar and familial constraints. Shortly after their encounter
Miriam moves to an isolated life in the country, but even here apartheid
is placing its cruel footprint on society, and these injustices
bring the two women together again, cementing the basis of their
Meanwhile Jacob decides
to pursue a love affair of his own and he and Madeleine begin a
tentative, touching relationship. But the best intentions of both
are overcome by practical challenges and indignities of simply spending
Even the fearless Amina,
faced with the strength of her feelings and with the reality of
Miriams situation, starts doubting herself. And Miriam finds
herself making some courageous choices that will change her own
Using the stunning
South African landscape and jazz tunes of the time, The World Unseen
explores a system that divides white from black and women from men,
but one that might just allow an unexpected love to survive.
Click here for more
information about the film www.theworldunseenfilm.com