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Arthur von Gerlach
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
Knowing my deep interest in the subject of Palestine, a friend tipped me off to this movie. "Have you seen the trailer yet?" she asked. "It looks hilarious and beautiful, and poignant".
She wasn't wrong.
Over the last ten or twelve years, I have been gleaning as much information and experience as I can about the Palestine/Israel question. I found this film to be an excellent, genuine portrayal of not only life in occupied Palestine, but also of what life is like for those who choose to emigrate. It isn't a high-budget, high-production value film, but it is sensitively written, superbly acted, and the characters stay with you long after you leave the theater.
Not only that, but it is so heartening to be able to see a movie about Arabs that portrays them simply as people instead of terrorists, and is honest about the kind of racism they face in this country on a regular basis. Lets see more of these kinds of films, please! Mabrook to all those who worked on this gorgeous film!
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