The World Unseen
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Set in 1950s South Africa at the beginning of apartheid, free-spirited Amina has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community and the new apartheid-led government, by running a café with Jacob, her black business partner. When she meets Miriam, a young wife and mother, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her to a traditional role. As Amina helps Miriam's sister-in-law to hide from the police, a chain of events is set in motion that changes both women forever.

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"No amount of heaving bosom or quivering bottom lip can evoke a romantic frisson if the emotion simply isn't there."
‑ Sarah Cohen, Time Out
"It doesn't leave you cold, but it doesn't exactly make an impression, either."
‑ Kamal Al-Solaylee, Globe and Mail
"If Sarif improves with experience, she might regret ever having allowed this effort to be seen by the public."
‑ Edward Porter, Sunday Times (UK)
"You wait all year for a lesbian comedy drama with the production values of a 1980s TV movie and the acting standard of a carpet shampoo advert, and then two come along at once."
‑ Wendy Ide, Times [UK]
"Intimacy, nuance and emotional punch are conspicuous only by their absence. Dreary."
‑ Kevin Harley, Total Film
"It suffers from an abundance of transparent acting, simplistic plot twists and music that essentially screams, 'These are important scenes to behold!'"
‑ Jonathan Curiel, San Francisco Chronicle
"Less an account of hatred and injustice in apartheid-torn South Africa than it is a soap opera-ish romance that could easily be an episode of The L-Word."
‑ Susan Walker, Toronto Star
"Both films are politically daring as well as what used to be called risque. Neither, I'm afraid, is well directed or acted."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"A curiously strait-laced, timid and self-conscious affair."
‑ Xan Brooks, Guardian
"This tale of forbidden love in the early days of apartheid South Africa suffers from heavy-handed direction and stodgy exposition, but it is made tolerable by its two central performances."
‑ Anthony Quinn, Independent
"Drawing upon her own heritage as a descendant of South Africa's large Indian community, Sarif brings more than a dozen interconnected characters to life."
‑ Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
"Never begins to tap the talent at its disposal."
‑ Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times
"As drama, it's insipid. As erotica, it's useless."
‑ Ali Catterall, Film4
"While the visuals never rise above TV-movie adequacy and some background acting hovers at am-dram level, The World Unseen's central story is strong enough to hold attention."
‑ Rob Daniel, Sky Movies
"Sharif's second film maintains the small screen soap opera feel of I Can't Think Straight, but it remains a watchable lesbian romance, heightened by strong central performances from Ray and Sheth."
‑ Matthew Turner, ViewLondon
More reviews for The World Unseen on Rotten Tomatoes