Muna (Nisreen Faour) is a non-religous Palestinian, making her an outsider on both sides of the Israeli border. Against all odds Muna wins big in the US green card lottery. The single mother leaves the West Bank with Fadi (Melkar Muallem), her teenage son, and with dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. However, they arrive in the US soon after the start of the Iraq war, when anti-Arab sentiment runs high.... More
As Fadi 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.
The heart-warming comedy-drama is the first feature from US filmmaker Cherien Dabis.Hide
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BY Steve-Newall Flicks Writer
Purporting to be a heart-warming, fish-out-of-water immigration flick, Amreeka is instead a giant bland-fest, unleashing a misfiring charm offensive in place of strong characterisation or a story that has a destination in mind. Whilst it opens strongly in the West Bank with its depiction of Palestinian life and the behaviour of Israeli occupation forces (perfectly pitched between everyday bullies and militaristic thugs), the film swiftly loses its way when Muna and her son Fadi arrive in the US after winning the green card lottery.... More
One gets the sense that many of the events that take place from this point onwards – from Muna taking a job at White Castle while claiming to her family she has work at a bank, to Fadi’s persecution at high school as the invasion of Iraq commences – are drawn from real experiences. Unfortunately, first-time director Cherien Dabis renders them as a series of misunderstandings and borderline clichés that, particularly in the case of Muna, come across less as culture clash than outright stupidity. I’m no expert in Palestinian employment law, for instance, but I’m pretty positive that it would be frowned upon there to take an overweight customer’s order at the counter and then offer her weight-loss pills.
With an absence of genuine dramatic tension, despite characters’ financial pressures and a violent arc, Amreeka proves a lightweight and forgettable debut feature that fails to paper over its many cracks with a smile.Hide
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BY Weds_Loafers superstar
School holidays often make for restricted movie choices and we went to "Amreeka" (despite the Flicks review) because it rated 88% on Rotten Tomatoes. Well done Flicks -- we should have paid attention! This was a movie with potential but no idea how to achieve it. For the first hour or so we all wanted to punch the main character in the face! A series of largely unconnected vignettes with no real story. Don't go!