The setting is Cape Town, South Africa, 1952. Near the height of the apartheid era, black South Africans are not even second-class citizens: they are third-class citizens. The middle slot is taken by "Coloureds," a designation encompassing mixed-race individuals and also South Asians. Unfortunately, the Indian men treat their own women, including their own wives, little better than the white police treat the black townspeople. Enter Amina, a free-spirited young café proprietress with a preference for slacks and a shirt over a dress and a skirt, and her friends. She meets Miriam, a traditional Indian housewife, and the two feel an electricity between them. I had to skip out on the last few minutes of the film to catch a train, but the first 90% is beautiful and at the same time infuriating and depressing. Highly recommended, but don't expect a comedy.
The World Unseen, dir. Shamim Sarif, South Africa/UK 2007, 96 min. 35mm (on video)
Technorati tags: The World Unseen, Apartheid, InsideOut, Toronto, LGBT Film