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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 »
In the heartfelt indy film, AMREEKA, one of the truly standout acting finds, is the beautifully performed role of Muna, played by Nisreen Faour - a divorced Palestinian woman, with a teenage son, Fadi (played by Melkar Muallem), who decides to leave their home country, and travel to America (actually, it was filmed in Canada).
Muna has several degrees, but, due them not being accepted, she must work at a White Castle.
Her son's quiet, and, as is often the case - but worse - is picked on, as the 'new kid,' but, being Arab, at this time, the whole conflict between westerners and the Arab countries comes into play - with Fadi being use as the totem, for the 'terrorist' as well as the 'cause' another classmate's brother (a soldier) went into the military.
All through this hard, and difficult time of transition, Muna has an optimism, and chutzpa, and, a warmth, that had me wishing she was my mom.
I wasn't planning to watch AMREEKA, but, after seeing the first few minutes, I became so engrossed in this determined woman to MAKE things work out for her, and her son, I watched it through. And, am happy I did.
You will be too.
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