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In 1950’s South Africa, apartheid is just beginning. Free-spirited Amina (Sheetal Sheth) has broken all the rules of her own conventional Indian community, and the new apartheid-led government, by running a café with Jacob, her ‘colored’ business partner. When she meets Miriam (Lisa Ray), a young traditional wife and mother, their unexpected attraction pushes Miriam to question the rules that bind her. 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. In a system that divides white from black and women from men, what chance is there for an unexpected love to survive? From overcoming oppression to finding personal freedom, from the hardships of a loveless marriage to the hesitant joy of an unexpected love affair, “The World Unseen” transports the viewer to a vibrant, colorful world that is universal in its themes.

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World Unseen - Lesbian Movie Review

From Mary Warren Foulk

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

The World Unseen DVD Cover
Regent ReleasingA 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.