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The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)

6.6
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 6,229 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 8 critic

John Truscott goes to Borneo to work with the Iban. He reports to Henry Bullard, who gives him a "sleeping dictionary"--one of the locals who teaches him the local language and culture. And... See full summary »

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Title: The Sleeping Dictionary (2003)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Christopher Ling Lee Ian ...
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Michael Jessing Langgi ...
Mano Maniam ...
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Cicilia Anak Richard ...
Malcolm Rogers ...
Eugene Salleh ...
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Kate Helen White ...
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Storyline

John Truscott goes to Borneo to work with the Iban. He reports to Henry Bullard, who gives him a "sleeping dictionary"--one of the locals who teaches him the local language and culture. And who he gives John is Selima. And while teaching him, John finds himself attracted to her. And we says it's not allowed, both the locals and Bullard forbid him to be in a relationship with Selima. But he defies them which has dire consequences. Written by rcs0411@yahoo.com

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Learn to speak her language.

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

31 January 2003 (Mexico)  »

Also Known As:

Kärlekens lexikon  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film used more than 600 Iban extras. See more »

Goofs

When Selima and Truscott are given the turquoise bracelets, she takes Truscott's off and wears it. In the next shot, she gives him hers but she's still holding his. See more »

Quotes

Belansai: I am still the champion of ten Longhouses.
John Truscott: Oh yes, they say you can beat any girl on the river.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon)
Written by Brooks Bowman
Performed by Mary Carewe
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Beautiful social history
13 July 2003 | by (Fremantle, Australia) – See all my reviews

My wife and I watched this film not knowing anything about it except a two sentence introduction on a movie-card. We were impressed by all aspects of it-particularly the substance of the script-it was a brave script-a script that should have made people uncomfortable because of the swipes taken at British colonialism and what that evil did on a personal level to everybody concerned. Living as I do in Western Australia, the dark legacy of European colonialism is just below the surface and I have seen firsthand the outlines of the story presented in "The Sleeping Dictionary"-not of course the same geography or the same details but once colonialism left its tread on the floor of world history it matters little the particulars.

The enormity of the personal tragedy of that period is something not to be derisively dismissed as one commentator remarked-as a film fit for screening at the old folks home on a Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately the world is still dealing with that evil period of recent history.

I was moved by all the decisions that the characters faced throughout the film. Brenda Blethyn's character as the wife of Hoskin's colonial official was as much a victim as anybody in the film. Although she emerges as the "baddie" she must try, with little background, to stitch together a semblance of what she feels is an acceptable canvas in order to paint her English life-such of it as there is in Sarawak. And what of Hoskin's torn character-a man who can only fall back on "duty" to country in order to find reason for the completion of duties that he recognizes as damaging to all involved.

A brave film-look for it!


33 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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