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American East


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Product Details

  • Actors: Sayed Badreya, Erick Avari, Anthony Azizi, Amanda Detmer, Nasser Faris
  • Directors: Hesham Issawi
  • Writers: Sayed Badreya, Hesham Issawi, Brian Cox
  • Producers: Ahmad Zahra, Anant Singh, Brian Cox, Jeff Kirshbaum
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: January 20, 2009
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001KMB7CM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,084 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "American East" on IMDb

Special Features

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Editorial Reviews

American East is a timely, poignant drama about Arab-Americans living in post-9/11 Los Angeles. The story examines long-held misunderstandings about Arabic and Islamic culture, and puts a human face on a segment of the U.S. population whom most Americans know nothing about, but who today are of particular interest to them, either from curiosity or suspicion. The story highlights the pressures under which many Arab-Americans now live by focusing on the points-of-view of three main characters.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By N. Joseph on January 31, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can't emphasize enough the importance of this film's message which is really about tolerance, understanding and respect. The actors have done a great job in portraying very complex Arab characters who are caught up in the frenzy of post-911 America. They face many obstacles when encountering prevailing stereotypes about who Arabs are and how they are perceived in general. While at the same time, they are also questioning their own personal prejudices as they try to assimilate in American society. The mix of actors is perfect; they all work very well together to drive home the message that we are all human beings deserving of respect and understanding if only people would listen and not be quick to rush to judgement. I very highly recommend this film.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Montiel on January 21, 2009
Format: DVD
I saw this film in the theatre once and another time at a film festival. It is amazing. It dealt with important issues but still was entertaining with great performances from Tony Shalhoub, Anthony Azizi and the rest of the cast. It also has the guy from the movie "The Visitor" (I think his name is Haaz Sleiman) who was very funny. I think its not in the theatre anymore so I would highly recommend buying this.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on February 22, 2009
Format: DVD
Mustafa is like so many other Americans-struggling and trying to do the right thing. Of course, his life (and the lives of his families) is complicated by the troubles of the day. Americaneast tells a heartfelt story of coping with the adversity of sharing an ethnic background with the enemy of the day.

We need more movies like this. Too few people in this country give any thought that American immigrants are people just like them with their own hopes, dreams, and problems. Americaneast addresses those thoughts and is entertaining at the same time. I highly recommend this movie.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By CGScammell TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 17, 2009
Format: DVD
A minor misunderstanding at the LAX airport gets Mustafa, owner of Habibi's Kebab and Falafel restaurant in East Los Angeles, under questioning of the FBI for suspicious behavior. It's post-911 and Americans are on high alert, and Arabs are easy targets, even those just at the airport to pick up visiting relatives from Egypt.

What follows are the oftentimes stereotypical exchanges between clientele at Habibi's: a radical Jordanian Murab, business partner Sam (a Jew), an Iraqi Christian and several orthodox Muslims who then argue with each other about the fate of Arabs in the United States. Murab, who acts like a rapping radical Musawi, plays the militant racist who blames all the troubles on the Jews. Mustafa plays the itinerant optimist despite all the woes that fall in his path, and there are many in this movie. Mohammed is his confused son who doesn't understand why he is a Muslim. Salwah is Mohammed's sister who tries hard to be a secular American. And then there's Omar, the aspiring actor who's trying hard to break the Arab stereotype in Hollywood.

The first 30 minutes are very disturbing as we watch how the characters in the Arab community tear each other down. The Jews in this movie are no different: Sam's family wants him to cut off all ties with his Iraqi business partner.

Most of the conflict in this movie takes place between Arabs, both secular and devout; between Arabs and Jews; and lastly between Arabs and the ignorant Americans who treat all Arabs as potential terrorists. The tense plot of this film predicts a violent outcome no matter who moves first, and it's this predictability that makes this movie a bit of a cheesy reenactment of all that which was bad in post 911 America.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Powell on May 10, 2009
Format: Amazon Instant Video Verified Purchase
This movie shows the flip side of what the media portrays and the stereotypes of middle eastern peoples and it is sad as well...I keep thinking about it....
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