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Sabah: A Love Story
2005, Ruba Nadda, 90 minutes.

Director Ruba Nadda brings new life to the classic dilemma of family, culture, and forbidden love in a witty drama that blends Syrian tradition with Western modernism.

In Sabah, Arsinée Khanjian (Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Code Unknown) plays the title character, an unmarried 40-year-old woman of Syrian birth who lives in Toronto with her traditional and sometimes overbearing, but loving, Muslim family. When Sabah falls hard for Stephen (Shawn Doyle), a nice Canadian guy she meets at a local swimming pool, she has no choice but to hide him from her family as she attempts to live up to their expectations. Sabah’s clandestine suitor, as it turns out, is a carpenter with no religious belief. As the affair heats up, the ensuing clash of cultures threatens to shatter the entire family.

An entertaining film, Sabah is acclaimed director Ruba Nadda’s wonderfully humorous, touching and timely romantic story about tradition, assimilation, and love. Can a family trapped in its past find a way to move forward together?

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