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Sabah: A Love Story

28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Arsinee Khanjian 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

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Arsine Khanjian, Jeff Seymour, Shawn Doyle, Kathryn Winslow, Setta Keshishian
  • Directors: Ruba Nadda
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: Arabic, English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kimstim
  • DVD Release Date: July 1, 2013
  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000OQDX5E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,470 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By RDC on November 1, 2007
Format: DVD
I stumbled upon "Sabah" on The Sundance Channel and was very glad to see it released on DVD. "Sabah" is a surprisingly touching film that is engaging and beautifully acted. It's a throwback to a long gone era of romantic films. And not a major Hollywood star in sight (thank goodness). Arsinee Khanjian gives a wonderful performance as Sabah, a middle-aged woman struggling to find freedom in love while being stuck inside her strict Muslim family. The real treat is Shawn Doyle as her would-be suitor. "Sabah" is a sweet little film that tells a universal story of love and romance.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By carl169 on October 1, 2008
Format: DVD
This is a truly lovely little movie that celebrates the best impulses in human beings. The fact that it deals with Syrian Mulsims is incidental. Its story could easily apply to any other ethnic group at its moment of moving from insularity to full citizenship in a larger culture. You. Will. Love. It.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on February 1, 2011
Format: DVD
While a Syrian-Canadian family is obsessed with finding the appropriate husband for young Souhaire (who wants to choose her own husband), her 40 year old aunt meets an atheist carpenter (Stephen, played by Shawn Doyle) at a public swimming pool. The aunt, Sabah (played flawlessly by Arsine Khanjian), slowly comes out of her traditional shell, and explores the delights of being in the company of an interesting person, regardless of religion or background (although Stephen is a bit more pouty than I like). As she falls in love with Stephen, she also dreads the inevitable clash with her family, particularly the authoritarian brother, Majid.

Sabah: A Love Story does not use supermodels to portray real people. Every character has physical or behavioral flaws. Souhaire's attempts to turn off her suitor with a overly traditional act was a hoot, as was Sabah's real angst when an unknown man accidentally picked up and used her towel at the pool.

This was just a pleasant movie throughout. Yes, you knew the clashes would come. And you'll expect some sort of resolution. But this predictability doesn't detract from the sensitivity of Sabah's growing awareness of herself.

In English, with subtitles during the Arabic exchanges.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By atmj TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 28, 2010
Format: DVD
Having known some Muslims, I know like any faith, the rules they adhere to are all over the map.
This movie is inconsistent within itself. But, I don't think it was written as a anthropological study.

It's a love story, so lighten up.

Sabah is a 40 year old woman, that takes care of her Mom and is supported by her brother while doing so. Her brother; now the head of the family since his father died, calls the shots for the family. He overlooks not only her finances, but also how she lives her life. She is somewhat headstrong and has avoided being paired off in the past. Chaffing against the strict Muslim rules she has decided to pursued her love of swimming. This leads to a chance meeting of a single Christian man, who she forms a first a friendship with. Over time, it blossoms to much more. In the mean time, her young niece is being paired off by her brother in lieu of being sent to a university. This is very much not to Sabah or her niece's liking. Things come to a crucial point for the niece. Other issues are revealed and Sabah's budding relationship needs to end or be made known. All of these factors force the family to reconsider how they have been living.

Besides the peculiar mix of Muslim inconsistencies:
Sabah nearly has a unibrow, but her mother's, are painted on.
Sabah's brother's wife, does not wear a hijab, but the older sister is expected to. Muslim's I knew it was stricter for married women than single ones. But then the brother's wife is not from the old country.
Sabah's mother to me except for the grey hair looks younger than Sabah.
Sabah's mother seems ditzy (maybe Alzheimers is implied) not infirm in any way, so caring for her makes no sense.
Read more ›
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brendan M. Howard on July 1, 2007
Format: DVD
Sabah is a sweet My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only with Syrian Muslims. Some of the acting is shaky, especially in the beginning. Family members in the first scenes have to explain things to the audience in a bit too much explication. Strange then that the family relationships of all the people don't get sorted out very well. Are there four sisters? Three sisters and a daughter? Two sisters, a sister-in-law, and a daughter? Bingo!

But the funny, predictable moments of the forbidden romance, and the tender feelings and slow courtship of the couple in question, will satisfy viewers who stick with it past the first 15 minutes. Expect standard culture-clash jokes and tension, but in a fairly satisfying romantic comedy concoction.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Helena on July 6, 2008
Format: DVD
In this film we meet Sabah and her close knit family of older mother, married brother (who has daughter) and her sister- apparently married. Sabah has never been married and she is 40 year old and single. She takes care of her sckly mother. Sabah's father is deceased so the role of the family patriarch is taken over by her older brother. She lives by stict islamic rules and rarely leaves her immigrant Syrian neighborhood. There are codes of conduct to be followed: woman's head must be covered when she is in public, woman is not to walk alone after sundown, there is no dating, only arranged marriages and having no other obligations it is Sabah's duty to be a caregiver to her sick mother (who does not look all that sick anyway, just a little bit too overbearing). When Sabah meets a local nice Canadian guy, self employed, divorced, carpenter/artist, willing to learn about her, her family and her culture, the family is about to explode with idea that she is dating a "foreigner". An absurd idea considering that is it Sabah's family living in Canada and if anyone is a foreigner it is her and her family unwilling to assimilate or at least adopt to the customs of the country they live in. There is nothing you have not seen before in this story of spinster-turned-bride in her middle age. It is a cute little past time movie. Do not expect too much of it.
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