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Towelhead (2007)

Nothing Is Private (original title)
Trailer
2:11 | Trailer

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ON DISC
A young Arab-American girl struggles with her sexual obsession, a bigoted Army reservist and her strict father during the Gulf War.

Director:

Alan Ball

Writers:

Alan Ball (written for the screen by), Alicia Erian (novel)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Summer Bishil ... Jasira Maroun
Chris Messina ... Barry
Maria Bello ... Gail Monahan
Peter Macdissi ... Rifat Maroun (as Peter MacDissi)
Gemmenne de la Peña ... Denise
Robert Baker ... Mr. Joffrey
Eamonn Roche Eamonn Roche ... School Photographer
Aaron Eckhart ... Travis Vuoso
Carrie Preston ... Evelyn Vuoso
Chase Ellison ... Zack Vuoso
Irina Voronina ... "Snow Queen" Centerfold
Cleo King ... Sales Clerk
Michael McShae Michael McShae ... Middle School Jerk
D.C. Cody ... Middle School Jerk
Soledad St. Hilaire ... Janitor
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Storyline

Against the backdrop of the first Gulf War, Jasira Maroun is 13, physically well developed but naïve and unable to say no. As puberty arrives, her mother sends her from Syracuse to Houston to her curt, up-tight, Lebanese-born father. Over the next few months, Jasira must navigate her father's strict indifference, her discovery of sexual pleasure, the casual racism of a neighbor boy and her classmates, the sexual advances of the boy's father, the proffered friendship of a pregnant neighbor, and her attraction to Thomas, an African-American classmate whom her father forbids her to see. Things happen to her, but can she take responsibility and control, or is tragedy inevitable? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How Can You Find Yourself if No One Can See You? See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong disturbing sexual content and abuse involving a young teen, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Arabic | Spanish

Release Date:

26 September 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Towelhead See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$52,823, 14 September 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$371,446, 17 October 2008
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(DVD)

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, based on the book Towelhead by Alicia Erian, debuted at the 2007 Toronto Film Festival with the non-controversial title Nothing is Private. However, after consultation with Erian and Warner Brothers, the filmmakers decided to release the movie in the United States and other countries with the same title as the book, obviously an ethnic slur. The title was met with controversy and protests from the Arab-American community. Some complained about the slur itself, others accused Warner Brothers of choosing a buzz-generating controversial title that was misleading since the story centers more on Jasira's sexual behavior than her ethnicity. This and other topics are discussed on the DVD's two panel discussions. See more »

Goofs

While interviewing the neighbor about the war he says at one occasion "Is that so" twice before he cuts of the tape, later when listening to the tape he only says it one time before the tape continues on to the second part of recording. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Barry: You're beautiful just the way you are, Jasira. Those other girls are just jealous because you're growing up faster than they are. And you're prettier than they are. Listen, don't let it get you down. Stupid names they're calling you. This year - just gimme a second
[wets the razor]
Barry: this year, your gonna shut them up. Only, probably you shouldn't tell your mom about this.
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Connections

Features Married with Children (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

New Sensation
Written by Andrew Farriss & Michael Hutchence
Performed by INXS
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing and Mercury Records Limited
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brutal American Beauty
28 September 2008 | by littlemartinarocenaSee all my reviews

Alan Ball steps on familiar yet virgin territory in more ways than one.An American suburb with the look and feel of a populated desert. American flags and neighboring spirits. Summer Bishil surfs uncannily the waves of her puberty. Innocence and awareness. Curiosity, excitement and fear. She has extraordinary moments as her father played by a superb Peter MacDissi marks and signs his territory with ancestral laws and American longings. A terrifying living contradiction. This time bomb of a man is the most realistic caricature I've ever seen. Played for real with frightening earnestness. There is also Aaron Eckhart who proves, once more, he's one of the most fearless actors around. His performance is as brilliant as it is uncomfortable to watch. I recommend it if you're in the mood for a couple of hours of gasps and nervous laughter.


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