7.0/10
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66 user 111 critic

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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Photos

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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
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Summer Bishil turned 18 before filming started, allowing her to play the 13 year old, sexually overactive Jasira without any restrictions as to what she could do or show in the movie. See more »

Goofs

Melina tells Jasira that an adult having sex with someone under the age of 16 is considered statutory rape. In Texas, however, that age is 17. 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

Featured in HBO First Look: Towelhead (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Maggot Brain
Written by George Clinton (as George Clinton Jr.) & Eddie Hazel
Performed by Funkadelic
Courtesy of Westbound Records, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliantly Honest
19 January 2009 | by Jeff HowardSee all my reviews

"Towelhead" is an incredibly honest and sincere movie. It tells its story without pretense, without agenda, and without b.s.

Looking at the IMDb reviews and ratings, it appears that not everyone enjoys this movie. If you are made uncomfortable by the honest portrayal of adolescent sexuality, racism, sexism, bad parenting, sexual assault, and sexual predation, then you will not enjoy this movie.

If you are like myself and my wife, and you feel that dealing with the life of a young woman torn between cultures and divorced parents, objectified by a society that also rejects her, and as confused and eager and scared of her own sexuality as every young teen has ever been, then you feel this is one of the best films of the year.

But not everyone is going to be comfortable with honesty. I found it to be a wonderful breath of fresh air. Others will be made uncomfortable and will then make up reasons to dislike it. I even read a review by someone who somehow thought that the villain of the story, the clear, obvious villain, was the hero.


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