Just as Muna begins to feel the pressure of narrowing opportunities and an uncertain future for her son Fadi in their homeland of Palestine, she is granted a U.S. “green card.” Mother and son begin a bittersweet journey across the world. Destination: rural Illinois, where Muna’s sister lives.

Her high expectations unravel quickly. Muna searches for a job that’s in line with her professional background, only to end up mopping floors at a White Castle burger joint, while Fadi deals with students who presume him to be a terrorist. Meanwhile, their Palestinian-American family navigates the clashes between the first and second generations of a people in diaspora.

Cherien Dabis’s first feature film tackles difficult circumstances with a playful sense of irony and everyday magic, supported by charming and nuanced performances from her entire cast, including Hiam Abbass (The Visitor). Amreeka had its world premiere at Sundance in 2008. For more information, go to amreeka.com.

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