Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen August 5, 2012

I borrowed the movie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen from my local library, having seen the trailer on another DVD. I don’t remember hearing about the movie anywhere else, and so I suspect that many readers may likewise never have heard about it.

The movie focused on religion and faith more than I expected it to. Two British characters mention (upon witnessing Yemeni public expression of religiosity) that neither knows anyone who goes to church any more, reflecting Britain’s increasing secularization. And while Ewan McGregor’s character Fred is dubious of talk of faith, the Sheikh (whose idea it is to bring salmon to the Yemen) addresses him as a fisherman, noting that fishing is all about faith, about patient waiting despite the often slim odds that one will catch anything.

The movie makes some excellent points, including exploring faith as something which human beings have and need. Religious faith may or may not be present, but faith of some sort is necessary. The movie also explores other themes, such as hubris and the glorification of God vs. oneself.

Have other readers of this blog seen the movie? Even if you have not, do you think that faith of some sort is a necessary component of human life, even for those who may reject religious faith?

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  • spinkham

    I have not seen the movie, but as a fan of Paul Tillich, Ernest Becker, and Terror Management Theory, I agree that in order to live we must all to various degrees put our hope and trust in some system larger than ourselves.

    I personally hate the way faith is overloaded and try to avoid its use (as it doesn’t mean much anymore because it means everything), but my view fits with the “confidence or trust in a person or thing” as well as “belief in a religious system” definitions of faith.

    If atheists want to know more, I recommend the movie Flight From Death, which streams for free on Hulu (to everyone in the US) or commercial free on Netflix (for subscribers).

    If Christains want to know more, I recommend this blog series by Richard Beck and Tillich’s classic The Courage to Be.

    For anyone who wants to step into a larger world, I’d recommend you watch or read the resources I’ve suggested for the other group also. 😉