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Amreeka chronicles the adventures of Muna, a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi, her teenage son, with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. In America, as her son navigates high school hallways the way he used to move through military checkpoints, the indomitable Muna scrambles together a new life cooking up falafel burgers as well as hamburgers at the local White Castle. Told with heartfelt humor by writer-director Cherien Dabis in her feature film debut, Amreeka is a universal journey into the lives of a family of immigrants and first-generation teenagers caught between their heritage and the new world in which they now live and the bittersweet search for a place to call home. Amreeka recalls Dabis's family's memories of their lives in rural America during the first Iraq War. The film stars Haifa-trained actress Nisreen Faour as Muna, and Melkar Muallen plays her 16-year-old son, Fadi. Also in the cast are Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, Yussef Abu-Warda and Joseph Ziegler. Written and directed by Cherien Dabis, Amreeka was produced by Christina Piovesan and Paul Barkin. Alicia Sams, Dabis and Gregory Keever were executive producers; Liz Jarvis and Al-Zain Al-Sabah were co-producers. Amreeka made its world premiere in dramatic competition at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and played as Opening Night of New Directors/New Films, a co-presentation of The Museum of Modern Art and The Film Society of Lincoln Center. Amreeka made its debut internationally in Directors' Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.
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Top customer reviews
The characters are absolutely believable. Bravo to the actors, old and young, who brought these characters to life. The writing avoids the obvious stereotypes which plague Hollywood productions, and provides a rich mixture of humor and drama. Obviously, the situation in Palestine is a foundation for this movie, but other themes are well-explored: being middle-aged and underestimated by others, the tribulations of adolescence, and the difficulties faced by anyone who finds themselves in a new homeland.
The one failing of this movie (and the only thing preventing me from giving it 5 stars) is that its plot has a beginning and a middle, but no end. The final scene fades to black, as though we might tune in next week to find out what happens next, but then... the credits roll.
Coming from Australia, I recognised much of the story in the stories of migrants and refugees I have known who have tried hard to resettle in a new country... the obstacles are countless, for young and old, but determination and love makes it possible.
I sought this video out because I had seen the film at a festival and I want to encourage others to watch it!