A young Englishman is sent to Malaysian Borneo in the 1930s to stay with a tribe as UK's colonial representative. A local woman (J.Alba) helps him understand local tradition and language. He falls in love with her etc. despite the taboo.
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John Truscott goes to Borneo to work with the Iban. He reports to Henry Bullard, who gives him a "sleeping dictionary"--one of the locals who teaches him the local language and culture. And who he gives John is Selima. And while teaching him, John finds himself attracted to her. And we says it's not allowed, both the locals and Bullard forbid him to be in a relationship with Selima. But he defies them which has dire consequences.Written by
This movie was breathtaking to me. I figured it went straight to video since I never saw any previews for it. Jessica Alba is a favorite of mine anyway, so I have a bias I suppose. The movie was beautifully shot and the music was in great taste. I had never heard of sleeping dictionaries, so it was an interesting lesson. At first, Jessica didn't seem to fit the look of the other natives, but it made sense when she was mixed and I could see where her complexion played in. Her accent was surprisingly believable. Hugh was adorable as the sheepish "leader" of the community. It made all the sense in the world that they would fall for each other. I liked the angle of the British hypocrisy. It was alright to sleep with the people the ruled or "civilized", but not good enough to marry them or acknowledge the children they had with these people. It resonated with me because the same thing happened with slavery in America. I thought that angle was well played out. I do agree with some other users that they fell in love too quickly and they weren't together enough for the audience to see that dynamic. They spent far too much of the movie apart for it to be so dramatic and "love at all costs" type of love. It was weird that he left his wife who was pregnant for Selima, but I guess Cecil knew he wouldn't be happy with their little "family". I identified with her struggle to please her husband and hold onto him. Imagine that many wives of the colonialism era probably felt that way when their husbands desired not just another woman, but a woman they felt was inferior. It was a great movie. Watch it.
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