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Amreeka With Dahshan: A Must-See

June 26, 2009

A couple of days ago I went with my Egyptian friend Mohamed el Dahshan to see a Palestinian movie about a mom and her son migrating to the United States. It would be very difficult for me to justly portray Amreeka so that you can get a good idea of what it’s about, but it’s suffice to say that you absolutely have to watch it. I was really amazed by it, and the more I think about it, the more I like it. Director Cherien Dabis & Co put forward a movie so realistic, that it is very difficult to remember that you’re sitting in a movie theater watching a screening.

Amreeka, The MovieThe movie starts in the West Bank where a Christian family is going through the daily hell of the occupied territories, until they receive the immigration letter that allowed them to move to the US. That’s when it takes you through the period of settling in with their extended family, and taking in the huge cultural gap between the two countries. The movie is mainly in Arabic, although I would say a good third of it is in English (sometimes even mixing the two – which made it much closer to reality). So watch it in its original version with subtitles (many movie theaters here, and throughout Europe, dub the movies, and that would take away the beauty of it).

Many movies fail to capture the differences of opinions within Arabs and Palestinians regarding the Israeli occupation. In fact, there is a significant crowd who’d advocate that the Palestinians abroad have pretty much the same mentality. Well, one of the strongest aspect of this film in particular, is the fact that you have a wide range of Palestinians, each with their own influences and thought processes. While they are all unanimously against the Israeli occupation (as is the entire world, except for the US), and they equally enjoy Arab food, there are quite a few significant differences between them.

I leave you with that. The best way to learn more about the movie is to actually watch it. Since we went on a Tuesday night, the tickets for students are at 5 Euros and change (compare with standard 10 Euro fee), and Dahshan was kind enough to invite me, since I’m kind of stripped on cash right now!

I wish everyone can see it so we can talk about it. The conversation that followed with Dahshan was very intriguing, but I think that would’ve been the case anyway, because he’s quite the intellectual, intelligent guy.

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One Response to “Amreeka With Dahshan: A Must-See”

  1. Lea says:

    Tarek, always looking for solid, entertaining, intelligent movies. this movie sounds really good and i’m going to search for it here. any other suggestions?

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