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Nothing Is Private
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Towelhead (2007) More at IMDbPro »Nothing Is Private (original title)

Photos (See all 45 | slideshow) Videos (see all 6)
Towelhead -- This is the theatrical trailer for Towelhead, directed by Alan Ball.
Towelhead -- Clip: Mexican Restaurant
Towelhead -- Clip: I wasn't in his car
Towelhead -- Clip: Barry
Towelhead -- Clip: Gail Arrives

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   9,704 votes »
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Down 4% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Alan Ball (written for the screen by)
Alicia Erian (novel)
Contact:
View company contact information for Towelhead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
26 September 2008 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
How Can You Find Yourself if No One Can See You? See more »
Plot:
A young Arab-American girl struggles with her sexual obsession, a bigoted Army reservist and her strict father during the Gulf War. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
2 wins & 2 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
one of 2008's best films See more (60 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Summer Bishil ... Jasira Maroun

Chris Messina ... Barry

Maria Bello ... Gail Monahan

Peter Macdissi ... Rifat Maroun (as Peter MacDissi)
Gemmenne de la Peña ... Denise

Robert Baker ... Mr. Joffrey

Eamonn Roche ... School Photographer

Aaron Eckhart ... Travis Vuoso

Carrie Preston ... Evelyn Vuoso

Chase Ellison ... Zack Vuoso

Irina Voronina ... "Snow Queen" Centerfold

Cleo King ... Sales Clerk
Michael McShae ... Middle School Jerk
D.C. Cody ... Middle School Jerk

Soledad St. Hilaire ... Janitor

Nathalie Walker ... "Golf Girl" Centerfold
Kim Knight ... Topless Golfer (as Kimberly Knight)

LoriDawn Messuri ... Topless Golfer (as Loridawn Messuri)

Lorna Scott ... French Teacher

Lynn Collins ... Thena Panos

Toni Collette ... Melina Hines
Eugene Jones III ... Thomas Bradley (as Eugene Jones)

Shari Headley ... Mrs. Bradley

Randy J. Goodwin ... Mr. Bradley (as Randy Goodwin)

Matt Letscher ... Gil Hines

Larry Cedar ... Glamour Photographer

Virginia Louise Smith ... Nurse
Lee von Ernst ... OR - OB / GYN Nurse
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Lisa Catara ... Taxi Cab Model (uncredited)

Alejandro Patiño ... Waiter (uncredited)

Directed by
Alan Ball 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Alan Ball (written for the screen by)

Alicia Erian (novel "Towelhead")

Produced by
Alan Ball .... producer
Anne Carey .... executive producer
Ted Hope .... producer
Christina Jokanovich .... associate producer
Peggy Rajski .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
Thomas Newman 
 
Cinematography by
Newton Thomas Sigel (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Andy Keir 
 
Production Design by
James Chinlund 
 
Art Direction by
Alexander Wei 
 
Set Decoration by
Fainche MacCarthy 
 
Costume Design by
Danny Glicker 
 
Makeup Department
Brian Steven Banks .... additional hair stylist (as Brian Banks)
Tonya Cryer .... additional hair stylist
Rosie Duprat Fort .... assistant makeup artist
Elisabeth Fry .... makeup department head
Mimi Jafari .... additional hair stylist
Greg Johnson .... prosthetics
Marie Larkin .... hair stylist
Dan Rebert .... prosthetics
JoAnn Stafford-Chaney .... hair department head
Brian A. Tunstall .... assistant hair stylist (as Brian Andrew Tunstall)
 
Production Management
Jonathan Ferrantelli .... post-production supervisor
Samson Mucke .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Lisa Chu .... second second assistant director (as Lisa Chu Dietze)
Noga Isackson .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Isaac Amondson .... on-set dresser
Andrew Birdzell .... art department assistant
Christopher Branan .... carpenter
Michael Duncan .... propmaker
Eduardo H. Esparza .... general foreman
Laura Evans .... set decorations buyer
Joshua Falcon-Grey .... art department assistant
Kristina Fuangkasae .... assistant props
Diana Goodwin .... art department coordinator
Steven Hanks .... on-set greensman
Roger Kelton .... construction coordinator
Jeffrey Mossa .... assistant art director
Jill Rolie-December .... assistant set decorator (as Jill Rolie)
Grant Samson .... lead man
Hillel Chaim Smith .... on-set dresser
Thomas Spencer .... set decorating gang boss
Joshua Towers .... set dresser
Amanda J. Flick .... set painter (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Ryan Collison .... foley engineer
Lawrence L. Commans .... boom operator
Martin Czembor .... sound re-recording mixer
Mark Fay .... utility sound
Dan Fulton .... assistant sound editor
Mariusz Glabinski .... sound effects editor
Avram D. Gold .... supervising sound editor
Marlena Grzaslewicz .... supervising sound editor
Robert Jackson .... adr supervisor
Kate Jesse .... additional boom operator
Jason King .... sound effects editor
Dan Korintus .... dialogue editor
Andy Kris .... sound re-recording mixer
Chris Navarro .... adr mixer
Jay Peck .... foley artist
Lisa Pinero .... additional sound mixer
Brad Sherman .... sound re-recording mixer
Ira Spiegel .... sound effects editor
Jody Thomas .... foley artist
Eric Thompson .... adr mixer
Mark Weingarten .... sound mixer
 
Visual Effects by
Jean-Pierre Boies .... visual effect supervisor: fly studio
Louis Morin .... visual effects supervisor
Nathalie Tremblay .... digital compositor
Antonin Messier Turcotte .... digital artist
 
Stunts
Lou Simon .... stunt coordinator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ismael Araujo Jr. .... grip
Greg Brooks .... dolly grip
Jon Callesen .... best boy electric
Vidal Cohen .... key grip
Michael DiGiovanni .... grip
Tulio Duenas .... second assistant camera: "b" camera
Chris Fisher .... assistant camera
John Garrett .... second assistant camera: "a" camera
Jimmy E. Jensen .... A CAMERA
Bob E. Krattiger .... gaffer
Damon Marcellino .... set lighting technician
Dale Robinette .... still photographer
Michael A. Savage .... grip
 
Casting Department
Nick Anderson .... casting associate
Lucy Bennett .... casting assistant
David H. Kramer .... adr voice casting
Ross Meyerson .... casting associate
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Stephanie Portnoy Porter .... costumer (as Stephanie Portnoy)
Silvia Raiano .... key set costumer
Cheryl Scarano .... costume supervisor
Behnaz Shokouhi .... costumer
Marta Villalobos .... costumer
Lorie Young .... set costumer (as Lorie Shew)
 
Editorial Department
Robert Berman .... first assistant editor
Ned Harvey .... post-production assistant
Kevin L. James .... post-production Executive (uncredited )
Julia Nessling-Douglas .... digital intermediate producer
Christian Prejza .... digital intermediate producer
Misako Shimizu .... assistant editor
Jimmy Fusil .... digital intermediate producer (uncredited)
 
Music Department
George Doering .... musician
Jim Dunbar .... music coordinator
Larry Mah .... digital score recordist
Randall Poster .... music supervisor
Joe Rudge .... music clearances
Thomas Vicari .... scoring mixer
 
Transportation Department
Charley Bob Burnham .... transportation coordinator
Al Burton .... transportation captain
Gary Jackson .... driver
Ted Joneson .... driver
Robert McKee .... picture car mechanic
 
Other crew
Prarthna Arias .... video playback services
Mike Barry .... set production assistant
Kara Blanchard .... assistant: Mr. Hope
Alasdair Boyd .... location manager
Kami Calevro .... first assistant accountant
Rachel Chapman .... assistant to the producers
Marjorie Chodorov .... production accountant
Sarah Clifford .... animal coordinator
Sarah Clifford .... live kitten trainer
Alison Cohen .... production counsel (as Alison S. Cohen)
Brad Comfort .... production intern
Michael Counts .... production intern
Aidan Orion Crawford .... office production assistant
Dennis Curlett Jr. .... production assistant
Joe Dornich .... key set production assistant
Michael Godinez .... stand-in
Shelly Helgeson .... production assistant
Elizabeth Himelstein .... dialect coach
Cameron Wayne Keith .... production assistant
Jina Kim .... production secretary
Eloy Lara .... key set medic
Joanna Lara .... production coordinator
Crystal McAlerney .... assistant production coordinator
Andrea McGee .... production assistant
Megan Miller .... additional set production assistant
Sean Oliver .... adr loop group
Claire Pacacha .... assistant: Ms. Carey
Daniel Penhale .... production assistant
Kyle Roumillat .... production intern
Tracy Scott .... script supervisor
Gianna Sobol .... assistant: Ms. Rajski
Nate Taylor .... key assistant location manager
Karla Torres .... production coordinator
Daneka Vallejo .... stand-in
Daneka Vallejo .... stand-in
Daneka Vallejo .... stand-in: Summer Bishil
Brandon Vedder .... production intern
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Nothing Is Private" - USA (original title)
See more »
MPAA:
Rated R for strong disturbing sexual content and abuse involving a young teen, and for language
Runtime:
USA:116 min (DVD version) | USA:124 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This film, based on the book Towelhead by Alicia Erian, debuted at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival with the non-controversial title Nothing is Private. However, after consultation with Erian and Warner Brothers, the filmmakers decided to release the movie in the United States and other countries with the same title as the book, obviously an ethnic slur. The title was met with controversy and protests from the Arab-American community. Some complained about the slur itself, others accused Warner Brothers of choosing a buzz-generating controversial title that was misleading since the story centers more on Jasira's sexual behavior than her ethnicity. This and other topics are discussed on the DVD's two panel discussions.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: Melina tells Jasira that an adult having sex with someone under the age of 16 is considered statutory rape. In Texas, however, that age is 17.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.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
La JavanaiseSee more »

FAQ

Why did Travis come on to Jasira?
Is this movie based on a book?
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
See more »
32 out of 38 people found the following review useful.
one of 2008's best films, 8 January 2009
Author: Roland E. Zwick (magneteach@aol.com) from United States

Even at the tender young age of 13, the strikingly beautiful Jasira seems destined to go through life igniting the passions of the men and boys around her. A product of a mixed marriage (her mother is white, her father Lebanese) and a broken home, she lives with her strict, traditionalist dad in a Texas suburb during the time of the first Gulf War. Though shy by nature, Jasira seems wise beyond her years when it comes to exploring her burgeoning sexuality. Like many girls her age, she dreams of one day becoming a famous model like the ones she sees in fashion magazines or on billboards around town. Yet, despite the sternness and rigidity of her father, Jasira winds up getting involved with both a black boy at school and the middle-aged family man who lives two doors down.

With "Towelhead," writer/director Alan Ball returns to the theme of simmering suburban eroticism that he explored so effectively in "American Beauty" and "Six Feet Under." Indeed, it's safe to say that "Towelhead" is possibly the most perceptive, frank and intelligent exploration of teenage sexuality I've ever seen on film. Somehow Ball has managed to take a subject that could easily have become exploitative and sensationalistic and turned into a moving and compassionate tale of flawed individuals who, despite the fact that they may mean well, often act in ways that cause serious harm to others. As is true of every teen, Jasira is naturally curious about her body and intrigued by that secret, forbidden world of pleasure to which only grownups seem somehow privy. The trouble is that Jasira is surrounded by adults who provide her with either weak or contradictory guidance, or who can't control their own urges long enough to think about the harm they might be inflicting on others with their actions. On a broader scale, Ball questions how modern teens can be expected to make wise decisions about sex when they are routinely bombarded with mixed messages from a culture that is both highly sexualized and highly puritanical at one and the same time. Often times, we get the sense that Jasira is using her new found sexuality - without yet fully understanding the powerful effect it is having on the males around her - to fill an emotional void in her life, a void caused by a mother and a father who are so caught up in their own lives that they have little left over for their daughter. To a somewhat lesser extent, the movie also touches on the racism that exists in not only the white culture but the nonwhite culture as well. For while Jasira is being taunted by the kids at school for her dark skin (even though many assume she is Mexican), her own father is forbidding her to date a black boy who has taken a romantic interest in her.

Ball has populated his story (based on the novel by Alicia Erian) with a rich array of complex, multi-dimensional characters, each one a unique and closely observed individual. Beyond the intriguing Jasira, there is her hot-tempered father who, in his own, perhaps clumsy, way clearly loves his daughter but who is so bound in by the traditions of his culture that he can't even begin to understand what is going on in her heart. There is the kind, pragmatic next door neighbor who keeps her eye on the girl and extends the hand of friendship when it is needed most. And, finally, there is the older man caught between what he knows is right and his compelling need to seduce a child young enough to be his own daughter. Ball makes it clear that none of these characters is a hero or a villain, that life is simply too messy and complex a business for us to be assigning such roles to individuals. Yet, he clearly acknowledges that there is such a thing as going over the line, and that adults need to understand that their own desires should never be fulfilled at the expense of others more vulnerable than themselves.

Summer Bishil is heartbreaking and utterly believable as young Jashira, while Peter Macdissi infuses both a sense of menace and a strangely offbeat humor into the role of her hardnosed, dogmatic father. Toni Collete is her usual first rate self as the older woman who takes Jasira under her wing, offering her the kind of guidance her actual parents seem either unwilling or unable to provide for her. As the neighbor who seduces Jasira, Aaron Eckhart brings a great deal of courage, subtlety and restraint to one of the trickiest roles imaginable for an actor. Eckhart is obviously secure in the conviction that the audience will be mature enough to see the humanity in his character even while feeling disgust at his actions.

In fact, that's pretty much the way it is with the entire film. There are some who will be instantly turned off by the highly sensitive nature of the subject matter. But, true artist that he is, Ball has been able to transcend the sleaze to provide us with a heartbreaking human drama that, by touching on the universal, is able to strike a chord of familiarity in the audience.

Put simply, "Towelhead" is one of the very best films of 2008.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Towelhead (2007)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Melina's husband: How does he know Arabic? erez-yam
You may have her leg, but I have the rubber coolatina101
'you mean they don't speak Spanish to you at home?? Ay ay ay!' musicbeing
One of the most horrifying scenes I've watched fieldsofbarley
Six Feet Under, American Beauty, and True Blood thezakman182
inconsistency in the dialog erez-yam
See more »

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