7.1/10
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23 user 70 critic

Amreeka (2009)

PG-13 | | Drama | 17 June 2009 (France)
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2:39 | Trailer

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A drama centered on the trials and tribulations of a proud Palestinian Christian immigrant single mother and her teenage son in small town Indiana.

Director:

Cherien Dabis

Writer:

Cherien Dabis
9 wins & 18 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nisreen Faour ... Muna Farah
Melkar Muallem Melkar Muallem ... Fadi Farah
Hiam Abbass ... Raghda Halaby
Alia Shawkat ... Salma Halaby
Yussuf Abu-Warda ... Nabeel Halaby (as Yussef Abu Warda)
Joseph Ziegler ... Mr. Novatski
Amer Hlehel Amer Hlehel ... Samer
Selena Haddad Selena Haddad ... Lamis Halaby
Jenna Kawar Jenna Kawar ... Rana Halaby
Suheila Muallem Suheila Muallem ... Jamileh
Brodie Sanderson Brodie Sanderson ... Matt
Andrew Sannie Andrew Sannie ... James
Daniel Boiteau Daniel Boiteau ... Mike
Jeff Button Jeff Button ... Jason (as Jeff Sutton)
Miriam Smith ... Bank Employee
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life's best adventures are journeys of the heart. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief drug use involving teens, and some language | See all certifications »
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Details

Language:

English | Arabic | French

Release Date:

17 June 2009 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Amerrika See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$61,176, 18 September 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$622,164, 17 January 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Interviews and luggage searches are performed by people with "Airport Security" patches on their uniforms. These jobs would be performed by Customs officers and Immigration officers. See more »

Soundtracks

My Heart is Yours
Written by Brian Beshears
Performed by Brian Beshears
Published by Westar Music Publishing (ASCAP)
Courtesy of Westar Music
See more »

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User Reviews

An Unforgettable Personage
13 August 2011 | by p_radulescuSee all my reviews

"Amreeka" has, I would say, all the freshness and the weaknesses an indie movie comes with. Being about a family of Palestinian immigrants struggling to find their way in America and facing all kind of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab stereotypes, this movie cannot escape its own stereotypes. It is a movie that looks schematic in many of its moments. Not in all moments, let's be clear on this point. It is a movie breathing of sincerity and it has a certain pathos. However, sometimes it seems that it gathers all the bad guys on one side and the good guys on the other (you can guess who are the bad guys, and who are the good ones). And after all these, the end seems idyllic; they want to send the good message so to speak, only I'm wandering whether it happens like that also in real life.

Well, one can say that this movie is dealing with a reality which is by itself schematic. This is true: bigotry of any kind is always schematic (to name the least of its sins). The problem is that a movie has an artistic reality of its own, and this artistic reality must be convincing, regardless how schematic the depicted reality could be.

The great asset of this movie is the lead actress, Nisreen Faour. She creates an unforgettable personage, with passion, with honesty, with conviction and stamina. And she is so amazing that the whole movie is contaminated by her enthusiasm and good will.

Let me mention here also Hiam Abbass , a very good actress that I have also seen in many other movies (The Visitor, Munich, Paradise Now, The Syrian Bride).


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