Donate Now to Support KDHX

Listen Live
Thursday, 19 November 2009 19:00
Local opening date: November 20, 2009
Reviewed by Diane Carson
Amreeka, the Arab word for America, is a small, lovely film that follows characters who look, talk and act like real people in recognizable situations. The plot first intercepts its central, Palestinian mother Muna, as she awkwardly encounters her ex-husband and his new wife in a West Bank market. Further irritated by her and 16-year-old son Fadi's harassment as they return from Ramallah to their home in Bethlehem where the mail includes her green card, Muna decides to join her sister's family living near Chicago. Muna and Fadi's bumpy integration into American society contains humor without ever undercutting the difficulties.

In an unfortunate and revealing immigration encounter, Muna must answer a question about her country of origin, "We have none." "Occupation?" "Yes, we are." Such exchanges say a great deal without any grandstanding or preaching. Further, in our distressed economy, it's easy to empathize with Muna's struggle to find gainful employment, especially at the bank manager's level she held in Ramallah and now seeks. Undaunted, upbeat but decidedly embarrassed lest her family find out, she takes a job at a White Castle pretending to work at the bank next door where her sister drops her off. Amusing encounters follow. Meantime less happily Fadi begins high school as a junior, in class with his cousin.

It would have been so easy to demonize and exaggerate these non-Muslim, Palestinian-Americans' post-9/11 problems, not that they don't encounter their fair share. Muna's physician brother-in-law finds his patients leaving without explanation. He and we know why. But writer/director Cherien Dabis finds the humanity in all of this, including a Jewish teacher's responsiveness and understanding. Amreeka also soars with the warmth of Nisreen Faour's appealing performance. Technically, the music and sound fits with every scene in which it occurs and the art direction keeps it real.

For its touching depiction of, and affection for, lives carefully observed and humanely presented, Amreeka won the Critics Prize at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival. In English with some Arabic with English subtitles. At Landmark's Plaza Frontenac Cinema.

Sponsor Message

Become a Sponsor

Find KDHX Online

KDHX on Instagram
KDHX on YouTube
KDHX on SoundCloud
KDHX on Facebook
KDHX on Twitter
KDHX on flickr
KDHX Blog

Local Artist Spotlight

KDHX Recommends

April
Friday
25

KDHX Presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program

KDHX presents Shakespeare Festival St. Louis' Metro Youth Program April 25 and 26 at The Stage at KDHX. Information and reservations available at Shakespeare Festival St. Louis online.   Modeled after a similar...


April
Friday
25

Trampled Under Foot

For tickets and info, Old Rock House online.


April
Friday
25

John McEuen and John Carter Cash and Family

KDHX welcomes John McEuen and John Carter Cash to The Sheldon, April 15th. For tickets and information, sheldonconcerthall.org.


Online Users

6 users and 8770 guests online
Sign in with Facebook

SYSTEM: S5 Box

Login/My Account

Sign in with Facebook