High off the success of her first book and planning to marry ZIAD, her sensible, stable and studious fiance, MAY BRENNAN has it all. At least that's what she'd like people to believe. ... See full summary »
James Garson Chick,
Goth-girl Cindy admires beautiful Laurie from afar, until the night when she dresses as a boy for the prom. Will this gender-bending Cinderella find true love when she leaves behind her little black boot?
In Majdal Shams, the largest Druze village in Golan Heights on the Israeli-Syrian border, the Druze bride Mona is engaged to get married with Tallel, a television comedian that works in the... See full summary »
While Danny's father and mother independently search for love, Danny is on his own desperate quest to find a prom date. Danny's search becomes progressively more pathetic once he and his family learn that Bart, the school's biggest dweeb, not only secured a date for the prom, but got a hotel room as well.
William H. Macy,
After a tumultuous affair between international photojournalist Lee (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and troubled writer John (Martin Henderson) ends in John's disappearance, Lee lands in a mental ... See full summary »
Jennifer Jason Leigh,
Muna, a single mother in Ramallah, has applied for a visa to the US. When it comes, her son Fadi, an excellent student, convinces her they should go. After an incident at customs begins their exile badly, they join Muna's sister and family in Illinois. Muna needs a job: although she has two degrees and 15 years' experience in banking, she settles for work at White Castle, telling the family her job's at a nearby bank. It's spring, 2003, and the US invades Iraq. While friends come from unlikely places, Fadi meets prejudice at school. How he'll respond to it and to American youth culture and how Muna will sort things out with her family are the rest of the story. Tragedy or hope? Written by
Written by Y. Alsalman, N. Wattad, O. Chakaki
Performed by Ragtop, The Narcicyst and Omar Offendum
Published by Paranoid Arab Boy Music / N. Wattad / Cosher Ink, LLC
Produced by The Narcicyst
Taken from The Arab Summits' "Fear of An Arab Planet" See more »
A considered view of current American sentiment regarding immigration
This very moving 2009 film written and directed by Cherien Dabis could hardly be more timely, what with the current Immigration issues in filibuster in Washington and entry into the land of hope and liberty, so long a dream for many, now a country under close surveillance of individual privacy. This is a film, simple on the surface, but one with a significant message that would benefit all to watch and digest.
The story opens in Palestine. After her husband divorces her for a slimmer woman, Muna Farah (Nisreen Faour) lives with her cranky mother and her excellent student son Fadi (Melkar Muallem) in an unnumbered house in Bethlehem. Frustrated by the constant need to cross through insulting armed checkpoints as Muna goes to her bank job and Fadi goes to school, they apply for a visa to escape the Palestinian problems with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois where Muna's sister Raghda (the always brilliant Hiam Abbass) and her physician husband Nabeel (Yussuf Abu-Warda) live with their daughters. After one last treachery at customs (where Muna's life savings are confiscated) the two arrive in America. Muna is unable to find work in a bank but is secretly employed in a hamburger joint, befriended by fellow worker, high school dropout Matt (Brodie Sanderson). Fadi gets into school but is immediately ostracized by crude thoughtless students for being foreign and therefore a 'terrorist'. Meanwhile Raghda and Nabeel begin to sink into debt when Saddam Hussein is conquered in the Iraqi war and public sentiment is against all Arab speaking peoples. Fadi eventually fights back when the prejudiced students cause an accident for his mother and is arrested for assault, Muna's 'low class' employment is discovered, but when all looks grim the isolated family is befriended by a friendly Polish Jew educator Stan Novatski (Joseph Ziegler), by Matt, and by a worker in the bank that couldn't hire Muna. At least the spirit of a few can intervene to alter Muna and Farid's view of their new home.
Writer/Director Dabis based this story on her family's memories of their lives in rural America during the first Iraq War. It is a potentially painful story to experience, but Dabis fills the dialogue with enough good natured humor that the point of the film is made without excessive preaching yet enough of the realities immigrants from the Middle East face to make the film unforgettable. Excellent performances from a fine cast.
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