Year: 2009
USA: National Geographic Films
UK: Dogwoof
Cast: Nisreen Faour, Melkar Muallem, Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, Yussuf Abu-Warda, Joseph Ziegler, Amer Hlehel, Selena Haddad, Jenna Kawar, Suheila Muallem
Director: Cherien Dabis
Countries: USA / Canada
USA & UK: 96 mins
USA Rated: PG-13 for brief drug use involving teens, and some language
UK Certificate: NC
USA Release Date: 4 September 2009 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 13 May 2011 (Limited Release)


AMREEKA chronicles the adventures of Muna (Nisreen Faour), a single mother who leaves the West Bank with Fadi (Melkar Muallem), her teenage son, to America where she dreams of an exciting future in the promised land of small town Illinois. In America, as her son navigates high school hallways the way he used to move through military checkpoints, the indomitable Muna scrambles together a new life cooking up falafel burgers as well as hamburgers at the local White Castle telling her family she works at the bank next door. As it’s spring 2003, and America is on the cusp of invading Iraq, how will Muna and Fadi adjust to their new life?

Although set in small town USA, AMREEKA’s themes of alienation and belonging are deeply resonant here in the UK with our large multicultural population. As Dabis explains: “I was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and grew up in rural Ohio and Jordan. When people ask me where I’m from, it’s always a confusing question. For most of my life I felt like I wasn’t American enough for the Americans, nor was I Arab enough for the Arabs. And as a Palestinian, I inherited my father’s quandary in not having a nation or a national identity, which only exacerbated my sense of not belonging anywhere. My own desire for a place to call home, a place where I belonged, was always a very big part of my identity.” AMREEKA is a film that will touch us all.

Winner " FIPRESCI Prize " 2009 Cannes film Festival
Official Selection " Director’s Fortnight - 2009 Cannes film Festival
Nominated " Grand Jury Prize " 2009 Sundance Film Festival