USA vs AL-ARIAN is a close portrait of an Arab-American family facing terrorism charges leveled by the U.S. Government. The film shows a personal story of a family living in a society where... See full summary »


2 nominations. See more awards »


Credited cast:
Abdullah Al-Arian ...
Laila Al-Arian ...
Lama Al-Arian ...
Nahla Al-Arian ...
Sami Al-Arian ...


USA vs AL-ARIAN is a close portrait of an Arab-American family facing terrorism charges leveled by the U.S. Government. The film shows a personal story of a family living in a society where fear of terrorism has resulted in increasing stigmatization and discrimination against Muslims. Written by Jan Dalchow

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Release Date:

23 February 2007 (Norway)  »

Also Known As:

USA mot Al-Arian  »

Box Office


$520,000 (estimated)

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Government war against the little man
29 July 2013 | by (Norway) – See all my reviews

This is a documentary made by the Norwegian film maker Line Halvorsen, about the Palestinian professor Sami Al-Arian and his family with five children. The professor was arrested due to his pro Palestine speeches was wrongfully arrested accused of planning terrorism, spending more than two years in maximum security prison before his case was put up for trial in June 2006. Then together with 3 others which according to the accusations, should have contemplated terrorism, through financing it.

This film is a well made documentary by director Line Halvorsen, where we meet him and his family, where we see him fight the Palestinian case in a country where Israel has a wast influence in the government, the USA. USA has this way resisted more than 6.500 individuals after 9/11/2001 since the "Patriot act". Sami Al-Arian is one of this prisoners, arrested without trial. When his trial finally comes up, the fights the justice system of the most powerful country in the world, and their troubles with the freedom of speech, and paranoia due to fear of terrorism.

This is a balanced documentary, where we follow the case before it comes to court, and afterwards, hearing both sides, though it's obvious questions are the human rights and the very undemocratic Patriot act, forced through by the Bush- administration after 9/11. We get very close to brave and charmingly open family, and listen to arguments from both sides. We learn that the whole case was based on the taping of 472.000 phone calls during 9 years, of which only a few were used to establish the evidence.

We meet journalists which followed the half year long case every day, having troubles in understanding the proceeding of proofs against the professor. For those not knowing this story, I will not reveal the conviction, but we also meet the jurors after the trial. The FBI denied both being interviewed and some interviews of the professor.

A documentary which should really have some effect on every one watching. It's a shameful system witch allows violations of personal freedom in what's wrongfully called the biggest democracy in the world.

The film is almost like a long 60 minutes reportage, which out a narrative voice. I rarely have seen a documentary which wasn't biased when it comes to this, and maybe it's because of no use of narrative voice.

A must see for those who are interesting in democracy and the effects of the Patriot act.

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