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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
It's 2003 at the start of the Iraq war. Muna Farah and her son Fadi are Palestinian Christians living in Bethlehem under occupation. They are surprised to find the US has approved their long forgotten visa applications. They join Muna's sister Raghda Halaby and her family in Illinois suburbs. Airport security confiscates a tin of cookies which had all of their money. Muna is embarrassed and tries to hide it. Raghda's husband Nabeel is a doctor struggling to keep his patients. They get a death threat. Raghda is homesick despite being away for 15 years. Muna can't get a banking job and has to work at White Castle. Fadi joins his opinionated cousin Salma (Alia Shawkat) in school as he faces prejudice from classmates.
This is a great little indie of Fresh Off the Boat experiences. Nisreen Faour delivers a perfect mix of hope and bewilderment. She is endearing and is the center of the movie. The experiences are not necessarily new but it is always compelling no matter the era. In this one, the experiences are colored by the middle east and the second Iraq war.
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