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With a PhD in Chemistry, devout and bearded, Syria-born Ashade Mouhana (Abdellatif Kechiche) drives a cab in New York, and must accept financial assistance from friends who attend the Islamic Council of America so that he can pay a lawyer to get his Canadian brother, who is being detained as a '2nd tier suspect', released. He also has to look after his toddler nephew and French-speaking Caucasian sister-in-law, Eloise (Elodie Bouchez), and is fearful that his brother may be tortured in Syria. One night he befriends a passenger, who identifies herself as Phyllis (Robin Wright Penn), claims she is Head of Programming of Q-Dog Television, sympathizes and offers to assist him get his brother released. He gets a shock when she asks him to carry out an act of terrorism as retribution against America. He walks away, and subsequently finds out that she has stolen his money. Shortly thereafter, his cab is confiscated by secret agents, and Eloise is held for questioning. Vengeful, he shaves off... Written by
This is a film about Ashade, a Syrian chemist who drives a cab in New York, and a woman who works for a TV station, and 9/11. I hesitate to say more about the characters or plot, because all of them are complex and tricky, and saying any more would lessen your experience.
What I can tell you is that the plot has a fascinating Hitchcockian twist in the middle, and an ending just about no one sees coming.
On the other hand, watching a film about Moslems, terrorism, and one truly nasty white girl left me immensely depressed. I wasn't seeing any light at the end of the tunnel, no shining sanity anywhere. Maybe that was the point.
The screening I saw featured the director/writer afterwards for Q&A, but I was so bummed, I just fled the theatre. Not a bad film per se, but disturbing and dark.
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