A young American woman is kidnapped by an Arabian sheik and held captive in his harem. At first she frantically tries to escape, but as they slowly get to know and appreciate each other the... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Diane
...
Selim
Dennis Goldson ...
Massoud
...
Monsieur Raoul
Zohra Segal ...
Affaf
Juliette Simpson ...
Zelide (as Julette Simpson)
Karen Bowen ...
Mrs. Green
Teco Celio ...
Italian Worker
Norman Chancer ...
American Engineer
Kamel Cherif ...
Rachid
Jack Davidson ...
Boat Man
Bill Dunn ...
American Worker
Charmagne Eckert ...
Woman in Church
Rosanne Katon ...
Judy
Maria Kaushan ...
Gypsy
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Storyline

A young American woman is kidnapped by an Arabian sheik and held captive in his harem. At first she frantically tries to escape, but as they slowly get to know and appreciate each other the difference between captor and captive dissolves. Written by Homme A. Piest <piest@pobox.leidenuniv.nl>

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Drama

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Release Date:

20 November 1985 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Haaremi  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Soundtracks

The Fifth Concerto - Emperor
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven (as Beethoven)
Piano solo by Radu Lupu
Performed by the Symphonic Orchestra Radio Bucarest
Conducted by Iosif Conta (as Josif Conta)
(Forlane)
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User Reviews

Misunderstood...
26 September 2011 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

...and no wonder.

I'm not sure whether Harem is too subtle for its own good, or if it simply fails to adequately get its point(s) across even to clever audiences accustomed to subtle storytelling. I'm not so sure I'm clever enough myself to decide that, you see. To pick up on all the (plentiful) symbolism and accurately interpret it. Certain plot twists at the very end lead me to believe, however, that perhaps I shouldn't give the creators too much credit.

However, whatever its failings (or mine), Harem is certainly a thought provoking movie. Don't let the title and the bare skin fool you; the last thing Harem is about is sexuality in any way, shape or form. I can't say for certain what it is about, but it made me consider, among other things, loneliness, and whether its an inescapable part of the human condition in any society. It made me consider the passing of time; change; permanence. The constraints culture and society place on the individual. Whether people ever really connect. Other things I've yet to grasp well enough to verbalise.

This is a fascinating movie. Difficult to watch at times, and at other times mesmerising. Ugly, and beautiful, the way humanity is ugly and beautiful. It will not appeal to those who like their world neat and well-defined.

Confused by this attempt at a review? Well, consider it an indication of what to expect from the movie. I would not be reviewing something I understood this poorly, if I did not feel that other reviewers understood it even less than I did. This is not a love story. At least, it is not a story of romantic or sexual love. Nor is it some perverted fantasy put to film, as some would have it. It's a semi-successful examination of what it is to be human.

In my opinion, it's well worth seeing, but only for the curious, the philosophically inclined, the introspective, the in-the-mood-y. The ones willing to be left without any answers at the end. Folks looking for easy entertainment, romance, or sexy exotic whatever, look elsewhere.


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