In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
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
There were no White Castles in Winnepeg, where it was filmed, so the White Castle company had the supplies for one trucked there. It never sold food, but people kept trying to order from it. See more »
Written by Hogan Todd, Gary J. Romero, Jeffrey A. Freundlich
Performed by Kaige & The Pubes
Published by Music Whirled Publishing (BMI)
Courtesy of Wild Whirled Music See more »
A beautiful, personal film; not what you might expect.
I seldom comment on movies here but felt compelled to comment on this one. I say "not what you might expect" because I think a lot of people's reactions to this film are going to be heavily influenced by preconceptions about what this film is supposed to be "about." I can't blame them; if I heard that this was "a film about an Arab family's struggles after immigrating the USA after September 11th," I'd probably groan because I'd have certain expectations too. But this is not a "message" film, and if you go into it looking for messages, you're going to miss the point. Rather than political, this film is personal. You could call it simple, but it's not simplistic. Far from it; it refuses to reduce the subtlety and nuance of life to overt messages. I think that an honest, objective viewing of this movie will reveal that, the "stereotypes" and "simplifications" that some reviewers are seeing, were brought in by the reviewers themselves. This is not a perfect film, but it has a lot more depth, beauty and truth than most family dramas, and certainly more than the didactic work one might expect.
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