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About Production

Director’s Statement

(Click here to read Production Notes)

The World Unseen is about integrity, about finding your strength, about passion. I’ve been incredibly fortunate to work with my producer, Hanan Kattan, and Executive Producers Katherine Priestley and Lisa Tchenguiz-Imerman, who all embody those qualities themselves. It made the making of this film as smooth a process as it ever can be.

The events of the story are set in a very specific time and place – South Africa, in the 1950s, within the subtle hierarchies of the Indian community – but the tribulations and triumphs of its characters are universal. All of us have fallen in love; we have all experienced injustice of a sort, whether within political systems or within our own families; we have all understood integrity and aspired to it.

This is a world where the desires of women are not traditionally seen or heard; but the story uncovers them, hesitantly at first, and then proudly. This delicacy of emotion has been beautifully portrayed by Lisa Ray and the rest of the cast.

The setting of the film provided a rich tapestry of images and sound – from the breathtaking yet oppressively vast landscape around Miriam’s solitary shop, to the vibrant colours and jazz music of Amina’s cafe.

I hope that, like all the stories we remember and love the most, The World Unseen evokes our longings and ultimately satisfies them – for it is an exuberant story, full of hope and triumph that are all the more meaningful for the obstacles that our characters have needed to overcome.