Poster for Yes
|Directed by||Sally Potter|
|Written by||Sally Potter|
|Music by||Philip Glass (song)
Tom Waits (song)
|Distributed by||Sony Pictures Classics|
|Release dates||September 4, 2004 (Telluride Film Festival)|
|Running time||100 min|
The film opens as an unnamed Irish-American microbiologist (Allen) discovers her English businessman husband Anthony (Neill) is having an affair with their goddaughter's mother. Feeling fragile and alone at an elegant London dinner party, she meets a Lebanese Muslim chef (Abkarian) who immediately begins seducing her. They soon begin a passionate, torrid affair. He tells her of his past in Beirut, where he was a surgeon who became disillusioned after he saved a man's life moments before he was shot dead. She tells him about her childhood, which began in Belfast where she was raised by a loving Marxist aunt before she moved to America.
After a racially driven argument in his restaurant's kitchen, the chef is fired. His connection with the microbiologist begins to implode as he questions the foundation for their relationship and cultural attitudes begin to pull them apart. "From Elvis to Eminem, Warhol's art," he says, "I know your stories, know your songs by heart. But do you know mine? No, every time, I make the effort, and I learn to rhyme, in your English. And do you know a word of my language, even one? Have you heard that 'algebra' was an Arabic man? You've read the Bible. Have you read the Koran?"
She is called away suddenly to Belfast when her aunt (Hancock) is hospitalized. After the old woman dies, the microbiologist telephones the chef and invites him to travel with her to Cuba, to make the journey her aunt always wanted to make but never did. He, however, has returned to Beirut. She travels alone to Havana where she undergoes an emotional and physical renewal. When she prays to God for some kind of sign that life has meaning, she is interrupted by news that a man is there to see her; it is her lover, the chef, who has suddenly arrived in Cuba to be with her.
The film is punctuated throughout by commentaries and glances from various cleaners and maids who act as a sort of Greek chorus as they look and speak directly to the camera, most notably the microbiologist's doe-eyed housecleaner (Henderson), who offers various metaphorical bon mots about dirt, germs, and cleanliness and how much they are like the larger world.
- 2005 Brisbane International Film Festival: Interfaith Award for Promoting Humanitarian Values
- 2005 Seattle International Film Festival: Best Actress (Joan Allen)