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

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FAQ Contents


A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Nothing is Private can be found here.

Yes. Nothing is Private aka Towelhead is based on American writer Alicia Erian's 2005 novel Towelhead.

"Towelhead" is a derogatory term for one of Middle Eastern descent, e.g., Arabic, Indian, and Islamic people, especially a male. It comes from the custom of covering their head with a turban. In this movie, the main character (Jasira) is female, Lebanese, and Christian.

Jasira Maroun (Summer Bishil) is 13, Thomas Bradley (Eugene Jones III) is 14, and Travis Vuoso (Aaron Eckhart) is 36. In real life, Bishil was 18 when the movie was filmed. Jones was 19, and Eckhart was 38.

The movie shows a 13-year old girl in a relationship with a 14-year old boy from her school. She also becomes attracted to and eventually raped by a 36-year old neighbor. So, yes, there is the child abuse aspect. However, the point of the story is not to explore child abuse but to explore a young girl's sexual awakening. Some viewers do find the sexual content of the movie to be offensive while others point out that, in reality, people evolve sexually over time, some sooner and some later. In the case of this movie, Jasira is 13 years old when she discovers that she likes having orgasms, looking at girlie magazines, and knowing that she's attractive to grown men.

Jasira Maroun is a child who gets knocked around at every turn. Her mother sends her away to live with her father (Peter Macdissi) when the mom discovers her boyfriend had shaved Jasira's pubic hair. Jasira's father leaves her alone while he spends time with his girlfriend, but slaps Jasira at the breakfast table for wearing a midriff-revealing top and average-length shorts. The kids at school call her derogatory names, as does the boy, Travis Vuoso's son, that she is hired to babysit. When she slaps Zach Vuoso (Chase Ellison) after he calls her a "towelhead," a "camel jockey," and a "sand nigger," Travis comes over to yell at Jasira and ends up raping her. Jasira feels alone in life and responsible for everything; she was blamed for many problems caused by others. She even apologizes to her father for her plane arriving late at the airport. Given this portrait of Jasira and the fact that she had a crush on Travis -- like the typical crushes most 13-year olds get while growing up -- some viewers suggest that perhaps her mother had not yet properly explained things to her, like what was happening to her body and the way she should properly conduct herself. So, when Travis assaults her, she doesn't even realize that she's been raped until she reads about it in a book. Then, when Travis later comes over and asks Jasira to have dinner with him, she's happy again because he still likes her. It's not until she begins having sex with Thomas that she compares the two experiences and begins to realize that what happened with Travis was rape.

His explanation is that he didn't know that Jasira was a virgin. He also explains that he only married his wife because she was pregnant. The inference is that Travis doesn't love his wife and is attracted to Jasira, thinking her to be several years older and fully aware of what she is doing.

Because he lied to Jasira in order to manipulate her into having sex with him. He told Jasira that he'd been called up by the Reserves and was leaving at 4 AM the next morning. However, the next morning he was still around and even said, "Good morning," to Jasira as she was waiting on the corner for the school bus.

How does the movie end?

Jasira goes to stay with Melina (Toni Collette) and Gil (Matt Letscher) Hines after her father bruises her leg in the car. Thomas comes over to "hang out" with Jasira after school. While Melina, almost at term with her pregnancy, takes a nap, Thomas and Jasira have sex in Jasira's bedroom. Melina wakes up, and Thomas hurriedly tosses the condom in the toilet. Just as the four of them are about to sit down to dinner, Jasira's father and his girlfriend show up for dinner, after having been invited several days ago to come to dinner and celebrate the end of the Gulf war. Mr Maroun tries to talk Jasira into coming back home, but Jasira refuses, so he asks if he can at least see where Jasira is sleeping. He notices the condom in the toilet and accuses Thomas of taking Jasira's virginity. Jasira confesses that it was actually Travis Vuoso who took it. Maroun has Travis arrested for rape. Several days later, Thomas tells Jasira that they should stop having sex but Jasira tells him that she doesn't want to stop. When she later sees Travis in his front yard (out on bail), she brings him the body of his dead cat. Melina sees the two of them together and comes running out of the house. Melina falls in the front yard. Travis calls the ambulance to take her to the hospital where she goes into labor. Melina requests that Jasira and her father be with her during the birth, but only Jasira stays. In the final scene, Melina's baby is born as Jasira watches.

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