FIND MOVIES
Movie List
Loading ...
or
Find Theaters and Movie Times
or
Search Movies

Review: Amreeka

Cherien Dabis's feature debut is winning
By GERALD PEARY  |  September 23, 2009
3.0 3.0 Stars

 

In the finely sketched beginning chapters of Arab-American writer/director Cherien Dabis's feature debut, we share the frustrating, claustrophobic life of our heroine, Munah Farah (Nisreen Faour), a secular, middle-class Arab woman living in Bethlehem. Her chubbiness is all the more frustrating because her husband has run away with a skinny youngster.

Her job in a nearby bank is intolerable: what with having to stop at hostile Israeli checkpoints, it takes her two hours to drive to work. No wonder she's thrilled to get an American green card and, with her teen son (Melkar Muallem), fly to Illinois to reside with her sister (Hiam Abbass) and her sister's doctor husband (Yussuf Abu-Warda). But it's just after the invasion of Iraq, and soon her extended family become the victims of anti-Arab prejudice, and the only job Munah can secure is slinging fast-food burgers.

The political ironies are obvious, and the American section is predictable, but Amreeka is winning all the same, because of the ensemble, and the humanism of its first-time filmmaker.

  Topics: Reviews , Hiam Abbass, Hiam Abbass, Amreeka,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY GERALD PEARY
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   REVIEW: LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE  |  March 12, 2013
    A decent little movie, but hardly a major one, from Iran's master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, who, self-exiled, here shoots in Tokyo with an all-Japanese cast.
  •   REVIEW: THE GATEKEEPERS  |  February 26, 2013
    Great cinema journalism, The Gatekeepers was the National Society of Film Critics' winner for Best Documentary of 2012.
  •   REVIEW: THE LITTLE FUGITIVE (1953)  |  February 27, 2013
    It's the 60th anniversary of this pioneering American independent feature, which greatly influenced both cinema vérité documentarians and the French New Wave.
  •   REVIEW: HOW TO RE-ESTABLISH A VODKA EMPIRE  |  February 20, 2013
    Daniel Edelstyn launched this film project after reading the spirited diary of his late grandmother, Maroussia Zorokovich, whose wealthy Jewish family split from Ukraine as the Bolsheviks were taking control.
  •   REVIEW: HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA  |  February 12, 2013
    What Robert Flaherty did with title cards in his silent Nanook of the North , Werner Herzog manages with declamatory voiceover in Happy People : romanticization of the austere, self-reliant lives of hunters and trappers in the icebound north.

 See all articles by: GERALD PEARY