Writer-director Cherien Dabis paints a gentle, often wry picture of human resilience, and Faour and Muallen give solid performances, but there are a few too many by-the-numbers moments.
Does it occur to xenophobic Americans that almost all immigrants, like their own ancestors, came here because they admire the United States? Someone please explain that to Lou Dobbs.
Although the drama heads on a predictable course, Faour brings intelligence and humor to her performance and Muallem, as the smart adolescent turned surly and scared, is likewise sharp.
Director Cherien Dabis' debut feature is a surprising, humorous, moving and very human story about a Palestinian family's emigration to Illinois on the eve of the Iraq war.
The immigrant experience gets a fresh, post- 9/11 Palestinian spin in Amreeka, a film that has all the familiar ingredients but is such a well-acted, winning re-combination of those that we see them with fresh eyes.
Amreeka makes its points with gentle humour and engaging performances -- especially Faour, who makes Muna so likeable it's impossible not to cross your fingers and hope her luck is about to change.
A feel-good comedy about a Palestinian mother who moves to rural Illinois with her teenaged son, Amreeka is a kind of stealth political film that confronts issues of ethnic tension and American xenophobia.