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Sliff 2009 Review: Amreeka

The difficulties faced when the mideast meets the midwest soon after the 9/11 attacks provides the drama in director/writer Cherien Dabis’ new film Amreeka. From Palestine to White Castle, Amreeka is a classic American immigrant story that follows the adventures of a heavy-set 40ish woman from her war-torn homeland to suburban Illinois. It’s a story that’s been told countless times and when Amreeka sticks to the fish-out-of-water elements, it’s a warm and entertaining study of struggle and displacement. Where the film falters is in its narrow-minded and one-dimensional view of mistrusting Americans as racists and hatemongers.

Divorced and discouraged, Palestinian bank employee Muna (Nisreen Faour) scores a green card (it’s not made clear exactly how) and flees the occupied West Bank with her teenaged son, Fadi (Melkar Muallem), to move in with her sister Raghda (Hiam Abbass) and her family somewhere 150 miles from Chicago. Unfortunately, calamity strikes immediately,

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