7.0/10
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63 user 111 critic

Towelhead (2007)

Nothing Is Private (original title)
A young Arab-American girl struggles with her sexual obsession, a bigoted Army reservist and her strict father during the Gulf War.

Director:

Writers:

(written for the screen by), (novel)
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4,529 ( 3,808)

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From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON DISC
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rifat Maroun (as Peter MacDissi)
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Eamonn Roche ...
School Photographer
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Sales Clerk
Michael McShae ...
Middle School Jerk
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Middle School Jerk
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Janitor
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Storyline

Against the backdrop of the first Gulf War, Jasira Maroun is 13, physically well developed but naïve and unable to say no. As puberty arrives, her mother sends her from Syracuse to Houston to her curt, up-tight, Lebanese-born father. Over the next few months, Jasira must navigate her father's strict indifference, her discovery of sexual pleasure, the casual racism of a neighbor boy and her classmates, the sexual advances of the boy's father, the proffered friendship of a pregnant neighbor, and her attraction to Thomas, an African-American classmate whom her father forbids her to see. Things happen to her, but can she take responsibility and control, or is tragedy inevitable? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How Can You Find Yourself if No One Can See You? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing sexual content and abuse involving a young teen, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Towelhead  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$52,823 (USA) (14 September 2008)

Gross:

$371,446 (USA) (17 October 2008)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Summer Bishil turned 18 before filming started, allowing her to play the 13 year old, sexually overactive Jasira without any restrictions as to what she could do or show in the movie. See more »

Goofs

While interviewing the neighbor about the war he says at one occasion "Is that so" twice before he cuts of the tape, later when listening to the tape he only says it one time before the tape continues on to the second part of recording. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Barry: You're beautiful just the way you are, Jasira. Those other girls are just jealous because you're growing up faster than they are. And you're prettier than they are. Listen, don't let it get you down. Stupid names they're calling you. This year - just gimme a second
[wets the razor]
Barry: this year, your gonna shut them up. Only, probably you shouldn't tell your mom about this.
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Connections

Features Married with Children (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Here's Where the Story Ends
Written by David Gavurin & Harriet Wheeler (as Harriet Ella Wheeler)
Performed by The Sundays
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
Licensed courtesy of EMI Records Ltd.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Jaw Dropping!
29 December 2008 | by (usa) – See all my reviews

This is one odd, disturbing, strange little movie that is as seductive as it is uncomfortable to watch. The ensemble cast is a standout but Summer Bishil absolutely steals this one by delivering an amazingly adult performance of an almost impossible role, and Peter Macdissi, as her father, is also excellent with a heavily nuanced complex character.

I'd also like to point out this movie has more WTF moments than anything I've seen in recent memory.

Another thing I was struck with is just how commonplace, how "normal" the events in this girl's life appear, and that is even more disturbing.

I'd like to close by saying this movie will not be enjoyed by everyone, nor will it be understood by everyone. This is a major piece of film-making and a major piece of storytelling, though, and if you don't mind extremes, definitely give this one a try.


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