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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Make the improbable possible. 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Lasse Hallström 
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Emily Blunt, Amr Waked  
An image from Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

This feel-good frenzy of a film, adapted from Paul Torday's novel of the same name, will have you laughing and sighing in equal measure. Sheikh Muhammed (Amr Waked) hatches a seemingly mad plan with his representative Harriet (Emily Blunt) to bring the sport of salmon fishing to his country in order to pacify his people and enrich their lives. However, bringing hoards of fish deep into the middle-eastern desert is no easy task, as leading fishery expert Alfred (Ewan McGregor) makes clear from the outset of the project. As the project faces both support from the British prime minister, who sees it as an act of good faith, and opposition from local militants who aim to sabotage it, it also inevitably draws Harriet and Alfred closer together, against all the odds.

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is a delightful take on the unlikeliest of stories. Both charming and unpresumptuous, it easily wins its audience over with its cocktail of humour and clever titbits of wisdom about life and making the impossible possible. McGregor and Blunt's chemistry is moreover enticing, ensuring that the performances are immensely enjoyable to watch and the screen rarely sees a dull moment. Kristin Scott Thomas is not far behind, her Prime Ministerial aide an amusing combination of unscrupulous politics and wily flirtatiousness.

Lasse Hallstrom builds on his previous success with Chocolat by bringing to life a story of hope, passion, and faith in the most ludicrous and impossible of situations. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen reaffirms the importance of swimming against the current in order to achieve your dreams, and for that alone it merits the admission ticket.

Ana Souza

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Screenings of this film:

2012/2013 Autumn Term (35mm)