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Uploaded on Dec 7, 2009
'Yasmin' - a compelling and topical personal drama of what it means to be Asian, Muslim and British in the 21st century, told from the viewpoint of a Westernised woman working in Britain while living in her own traditional culture.
Written by Simon Beaufoy (highly acclaimed writer of The Full Monty), the script was developed out of months of research and workshops with the Muslim community in the North of England, resulting in an emotionally resonant story, which comes directly out of the community's experiences.
Set in a Northern mill town, against a backdrop of poverty, high unemployment and racism, Yasmin's story deals with universal themes such as guilt, transgression and the search for identity.
Having rebelled against her Pakistani culture as a teenager, Yasmin agrees to marry a cousin 'from home' to please her widowed father. The omens are not good when the goatherder from a Pakistani village meets the sparky, Westernised Yasmin.
But her confidence begins to evaporate after 9/11, when Yasmin becomes increasingly ostracised at work. After a total crisis of identity, the internment of Yasmin's husband triggers a new determination and a sense of purpose. Yasmin fights vigorously for his release from a holding centre - and through her campaign is forced to re-evaluate her faith, her culture, and her relationships.
Despite the serious themes underpinning the story, 'Yasmin' is full of Northern wit, irony and juxtapositions. Much of the humour, as well as the harsh realities of the story, has arisen from the workshops with Muslim actors (both professional and non-professional) and members of the community. The director (Kenny Glenaan) has a track record of making award-winning drama working with inexperienced actors, and the film, which was shot in Yorkshire in October 2003, will include a mixture of professional actors and total newcomers.
The film was financed by Scottish Screen, Channel Four, Screen Yorkshire and EuroArts and will be released cinematically in 2004. It was crewed by experienced film makers and trainees from the local community. The producer (Sally Hibbin) has been responsible for dozens of highly acclaimed films such as 'Ladybird, Ladybird' and 'Raining Stones'.