10 October 2010 | throw99
A beautiful, personal film; not what you might expect.
I seldom comment on movies here but felt compelled to comment on this one. I say "not what you might expect" because I think a lot of people's reactions to this film are going to be heavily influenced by preconceptions about what this film is supposed to be "about." I can't blame them; if I heard that this was "a film about an Arab family's struggles after immigrating the USA after September 11th," I'd probably groan because I'd have certain expectations too. But this is not a "message" film, and if you go into it looking for messages, you're going to miss the point. Rather than political, this film is personal. You could call it simple, but it's not simplistic. Far from it; it refuses to reduce the subtlety and nuance of life to overt messages. I think that an honest, objective viewing of this movie will reveal that, the "stereotypes" and "simplifications" that some reviewers are seeing, were brought in by the reviewers themselves. This is not a perfect film, but it has a lot more depth, beauty and truth than most family dramas, and certainly more than the didactic work one might expect.