racechanging: The Sleeping Dictionary

The Sleeping Dictionary

A film this tedious really ought to avoid the word ‘sleeping’ in its title.

In the 1930s John Truscott, fresh out of university, arrives in Sarawak, Malaysia for his first posting in the Colonial Service among the Iban, a branch of the Dayak peoples.

His superior arranges for Selima (Jessica Alba), a half British/half Iban native girl to become John's ‘sleeping dictionary’ to help him learn the local language and customs, as well as providing housekeeping services and being his concubine.

The couple fall in love, offending both the Iban and European communities.

The makeup

Anne Spiers (as Annie Spiers) was the makeup designer.