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Rated PG-13 · 92 minutes · 2009

Well-meaning social drama follows the misadventures of Mudi, a Palestinian mother (Nisreen Faour), and her teenage son Fadi (Melkar Muallen), as they migrate from the West Bank to a small Illinois town, seeking a better life and finding one that’s merely different. Writer-director Cherien Dabis — herself a Palestinian immigrant to the US — puts a full load of potentially comic, slapstick-y, situations into Mudi and Dabi’s story, but we feel so sorry for them we don’t have the heart to laugh. Filmmaker Dabis gets at least one thing right: the bland, cottony “niceness” of people who would drop their Palestinian-American doctor because of “terrorism” fears, yet who would never say anything impolite to his face (96 min.).
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Director: Cherien Dabis
Writer: Cherien Dabis
Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, Jenna Kawar, Selena Haddad, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Joseph Ziegler, Andrew Sannie and Daniel Boiteau


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