Canada, 2005 (fiction, 90 minutes, colour, Arabic / English)
Also known as
"Coldwater", "Sabah on rakastunut!", "Sabah: A Love Story"
"One day, when Sabah least expects it, she falls in love with the wrong man. She's Muslim, he's not. Unbeknownst to her family, she embarks on a whirlwind affair before both culture and love collide."
-- Telefilm Canada
|Film Credits (partial):
||Tracey Boulton, Paul Scherzer, Atom Egoyan, Simone Urdl, Stephen Paniccia|
||Arsinée Khanjian, Shawn Doyle, Jeff Seymour, Setta Keshishian, Roula Said, Kathryn Winslow, Fadia Nadda|
||Geoff Bennett, Longo Hai, Ben Johannesen|
||T.L. Boulton Productions Ltd.|
Notes about Sabah
Quotes by the Director
"[Arsinée Khanjian has] always played reserved, strong roles. I saw her at a party and loved the way she laughed. When she laughs, she is girlish, and down-to-earth and so uncensored. I wanted to offer her a role where her emotions run rampant. She would portray a 40-year-old who falls in love for the first time -- with no baggage because she has never been betrayed so she can be girlish and funny."
-- Ruba Nadda
"[During the quest to finance Sabah] I hit rock bottom so many times. My 'babies' [short films] were basically used against me because I'd never done anything slick. But a story is a story; and if I can tell a story in one minute, I can do it in ninety. And all throughout the process I was attacked for making Sabah an older woman. 'A forty year-old woman in a bathing suit?' That's so sexist, yet so real. Since making the film, no one has ever mentioned it again."
-- Ruba Nadda
Quote by the Director [in French]
"Il m'a fallu résister aux pressions de certains producteurs qui voulaient que je rajeunisse mon personnage [dans Sabah] pour faire un film plus accrocheur. [...] C'était important d'illustrer la vie d'une femme de 40 ans, soumise depuis longtemps à sa mère malade et à son frère autoritaire. À 20 ans, on peut se rebeller; pour Sabah, ça semble impossible."
-- Ruba Nadda
Quotes about Sabah
"[In her film Sabah], Ruba Nadda was determined to make Toronto look like a city for lovers. In this romance, the dramatic backdrop for that crucial first kiss is the flatiron building at Front and Wellington. Though it's no Eiffel Tower, it works just fine."
-- Jason Anderson
"[In Sabah, Ruba] Nadda saves her directorial coup until two-thirds of the way through the film when Sabah risks everything to save the romance. Long ebony curls finally flowing and hips wrapped in crimson desire, Sabah overcomes her self-consciousness and seduces Stephen with her newly learned belly dance moves. The magic of Nadda's directing is in a reverse angle shot, which reveals only to the audience Sabah's face, giddy with disbelief at her own daring."
-- Noelle Elia
"The point of the film, as I see it, is that the choice with which Sabah was presented is indeed a false one, and that marrying outside the tribe, so to speak, does not have to come at the expense of one's family, nor does it have to warrant ostracization from one's community."
-- Nouri Gana
"Flush with the rush of love, Sabah must now choose between her family and her new boyfriend. [...] Without pushing the issue into absolute black and white values, director and writer Nadda takes a decidedly feminine approach and finds the valuable space between the rock and the hard place. It's called compromise, and in this context, it takes on very female properties as Sabah, her mother and her niece find a way to soften the all-or-nothing approach of the men around them."
-- Katherine Monk
"I've always felt close to the issues the script [for Sabah] embraces. They are issues I grew up with and I'm familiar with, like how do you adjust as a woman in society when you're coming from a completely different value system? How do you balance the sense of the past with the needs of the future? The specifics of the story are different from my life, but the overall issues are very much the same."
-- Arsinée Khanjian
Quote about Sabah [in French]
"Il y un véritable aspect conte de fées dans Sabah, une touche quasi magique dont la réalisatrice [Rubba Nadda] ne renie nullement la forme délicieusement idéalisée."
-- André Lavoie
Bibliography for Sabah
- Gana, Nouri. "Everyday Arabness: The Poethics of Arab Canadian Literature and Film." CR: The New Centennial Review 9, no. 2 (Autumn 2009): 21-44.
Newspaper or Magazine Articles
- Baldassarre, Angela. "Belly dancing with controversy: Actress plays a single Muslim woman who goes to a public pool and meets a Christian man." Interview with Arsinée Khanjian. Vancouver Sun, May 27, 2005.
- Davidson, Sean. "Egoyan, Mehta warm to Coldwater." Playback, June 21, 2004.
- Elia, Noelle. "Ruba Nadda's gift." Point of View: POV, Summer 2005.
- Ghandour, Rania. "Love across cultures." Interview with Ruba Nadda. The West Australian, December 8, 2006.
- Lavoie, André. "Au-delà de la Bible ou du Coran...." Review of Sabah. Le Devoir, July 16, 2005. [in French]
- Lavoie, André. "De la difficulté d'être prophète: Entretien avec Ruba Nadda, réalisatrice de Sabah." Interview with Ruba Nadda. Le Devoir, July 16, 2005. [in French]
- Marquis, Antonin. "Sabah." Review of Sabah. Séquences, September-October 2005. [in French]
- McLaren, Leah. "Profile: Ruba Nadda." Interview with Ruba Nadda. Globe and Mail, May 27, 2005.
- Mohammad-Kashi, Sabereh. "Love Is Greater Than Culture: Exclusive Interview with Rubba Nadda, the Screenplay Writer and Director of 'Sabah'." Interview with Ruba Nadda. Film International: Iranian Film Quarterly, Summer 2005.
- Monk, Katherine. "Another 'New Canadian' finds herself: This time, a Muslim woman in Toronto. Such films are becoming a national genre, but actor, director lift Sabah beyond formula." Review of Sabah. Montreal Gazette, July 15, 2005.
- Monk, Katherine. "Sabah star understands struggles with tradition." Interview with Arsinée Khanjian. Calgary Herald, June 24, 2005.
- Odeh, Omar. "Culture shock." This Magazine, May-June 2005.
- Quilty, Jim. "Forbidden romance blooms under cover of politeness: Ruba Nadda's 'Sabah,' a twist on the Arab-migrant genre, plays out agreeably in courteous Canada." Review of Sabah. Daily Star (Lebanon), March 30, 2006.
- Young, Deborah. "Coldwater." Review of Sabah. Variety, March 21, 2005.
- Zekas, Rita. "Nadda got Arsinee to blush." Interview with Ruba Nadda. Toronto Star, May 20, 2005.
Web Sites about Sabah