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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is as intriguing and unique as its title. This new movie starring Ewan McGregor (Star Wars: Episode I, II, III) and Emily Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau) does have its cautionary elements though.


Sheik Muhammed (Amr Waked) wants to do the impossible – introduce salmon fishing to his home country, the Republic of Yemen. So he enlists the help of his ally in Britain, business woman Harriet Chetwode-Talbot (Emily Blunt). Knowing nothing about getting water and fish to the desert, Harriet turns to Dr. Albert Jones (Ewan McGregor), the country’s leading fisheries expert. Reluctant because of the nature of this unrealistic proposal, Dr. Jones is soon pressured by an overzealous press secretary (Kristin Scott Thomas) interested in getting a good news story happening in the Middle East. With the government intensely backing the outlandish project, the sheik, Harriet and Dr. Jones have to throw caution to the wind and make the impossible happen against all odds.


From a purely aesthetic and entertainment perspective, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen is one of the better produced films released this year. It is well rounded in the quality of the acting, script and direction – allowing moviegoers to experience a full range of emotions, from hilarity to distress.

Despite its strengths, this film’s family-friendly weaknesses include pre-marital relations, emotional adultery and offensive language – all contributing to its PG-13 rating.

That said, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen pits faith against realism. It is by no means pro- or anti-Christianity, but is a conversation starter. Faith is discussed in vague terms, with Islam as the backdrop. The conversations between the Sheik and Dr. Jones are the starting points that our diverse culture needs to get the discussion of how faith can interact with our everyday life started.


It's a story about dreaming the impossible into reality. Though nothing supernatural happens in Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, it does ask churchgoers and atheists alike to have faith. The important step after the credits end is to explain what true faith in God means.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's