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The Sheltering Sky (1990)

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An American couple travel abroad to revitalize their relationship. But as the trip drags on, their attempt at recovering what they once had seems futile.

Writers:

Paul Bowles (book), Mark Peploe (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Debra Winger ... Kit Moresby
John Malkovich ... Port Moresby
Campbell Scott ... George Tunner
Jill Bennett ... Mrs. Lyle
Timothy Spall ... Eric Lyle
Eric Vu-An Eric Vu-An ... Belqassim
Amina Annabi ... Mahrnia
Philippe Morier-Genoud Philippe Morier-Genoud ... Captain Broussard
Sotigui Kouyaté ... Abdelkader (as Sotigui Kouyate)
Tom Novembre Tom Novembre ... French Immigration Officer
Ben Smaïl Ben Smaïl ... Smail (as Ben Smail)
Kamel Cherif Kamel Cherif ... Ticket Seller
Mohammed Afifi Mohammed Afifi ... Mohamed (as Afifi Mohamed)
Brahim Oubana Brahim Oubana ... Young Arab
Carolyn De Fonseca Carolyn De Fonseca ... Miss Ferry (as Carolyn de Fonseca)
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Storyline

The American artist couple Port and Kit Moresby travels aimless through Africa, searching for new experiences that could give new sense to their relationship. But the flight to distant regions leads both only deeper into despair. Written by Thomas Manhardt <Thomas.Manhardt@wu-wien.ac.at>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman's dangerous and erotic journey...

Genres:

Adventure | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | Italy

Language:

English | French | Arabic

Release Date:

12 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Refugio para el amor See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$82,753, 12 December 1990, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,075,084
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (35 mm prints)| 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)

Color:

Black and White (archive footage)| Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The picture is actually narrated by the film's own source novelist Paul Bowles. See more »

Goofs

There is a moment when Port is with Kit in her room, she is sitting and he is caressing her belly. A good deal of pubic hair is notoriously visible, but immediately follows a closer shot in which she is completely covered. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Port Moresby: Well, terra firma.
Tunner: We're probably the first tourists they've had since the war.
Kit Moresby: Tunner, we're not tourists. We're travelers.
Tunner: Oh. What's the difference?
Port Moresby: A tourist is someone who thinks about going home the moment they arrive, Tunner.
Kit Moresby: Whereas a traveler might not come back at all.
Tunner: You mean *I'm* a tourist.
Kit Moresby: Yes, Tunner. And I'm half and half.
See more »

Connections

References There's No Tomorrow (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Those Who Are In The Grave
Written and performed by Mohamed Abdel Wahab
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For me an initiation
15 October 2000 | by yogalandauSee all my reviews

Please do not read this review if you have not yet seen the film, because I find it necessary to discuss elements of the film which reveal the plot.

The whole film was for me a long introduction into the silence of myself. I like the desert a lot, am not afraid of the void, when the mind can finally be still. Port also actually came home to Africa. He was ready to die, ready to leave behind his intellectuality, to get rid of the inner mess that was himself. Although he seemed unconscious of it, his inner soul brought him by force to his own roots. When in delirium his hands dance happily, demanding the music to continue, to push him through and out of this existence, Kit is left aside and alone, madness kissing her forehead for the first time, unable to stop the approaching avalanche which will sweep over both of their lives, leaving one dead. Kit, ...how one must feel going to a foreign country to mate again with the mate with whom you, through so many silly, careless incidents, have lost essential contact - and to suddenly find him dead and silent lying in front of you in the vastness of an indifferent desert. The desert we all live in unawares. "Oh, God, what have I done, how could I have allowed this to go so far?" Suddenly she wakes up to notice the immense impact of nothingness.

Her mind broken, she goes off with a Bedouin, and this is actually what I like most about the film. It allows me to let my mind break too, traveling with her through the desert, mostly listening to the silent sound of camels and bells and voices crying out in a strange unknown language.

Some of the professional critics didn't to go down that path. They need their thoughts to run incessantly, .. for them it must have certainly been a threatening movie, or so their comments would suggest.


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