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Monday, June 20, 2011

256. Amreeka

    I have watched so many Middle-East inspired films over the last couple of days I am starting to expect our Spanish hotel staff to start speaking Arabic.
    Hot on the heels of movies about Iran and Lebanon, Cherien Dabis's movie centres on a family from the Palestinian Territories.
    It's another blog catch-up movie and I was provided the DVD screen by Simon Kinnear who writes for Total Film.
    Simon also has his own movie blog, which you can find at www.kinnemaniac.blogspot.com
    He has been a great supporter of everyfilmin2011 so please give his blog a look.
    Anyway, on with Amreeka, which handles a very serious subject (the world prejudice against the Palestinian people) from the sort of light angle which might make the message more accessible.
    It follows single mum Muna Farah (Nisreen Faour) and her son Fadi (Melkar Muallem) who are given the opportunity to leave their life in Bethlehem and join relatives in Illinois.
    It's a tough choice for Muna, who is a respected bank worker, but the combination of Fadi's desire to go and the increasing challenges imposed on their lives by the Israelis swing her decision.
    As it happens, their timing couldn't be worse. It's 2003 and the Americans are leading the invasion of Iraq. Anti-Arab feeling in the States is running high and from the moment they go through immigration controls, the pair are subject of discrimination in its various forms.
    Faour's character, however, does much to quash the stereotypes.
    Despite her homesickness and knockbacks, partticularly in the job market, she never loses her positivity.
    Indeed, her warmth makes Amreeka a feelgood movie when one least expects it to be.
    The criticism of Amreeka has to be that it soft soaps big issues but, to be fair, it doesn't try to come up with any big answers.
    It is trying to set the world scene as it affects normal families with normal aspirations and, in that, does a fair job.
    I give it 6/10.
    PS Amreeka is Arabic for American woman. I've just looked it up!

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256. Amreeka

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