The film addresses the good, the bad and the ugly aspects of immigrating to a foreign country; the mother and son duo encounter racial profiling and distrust because they're Arabs, but they also meet generosity and benevolence. First-time writer/director Dabis documents the family's attempt to blend in to a new and unfamiliar society and the resulting cultural clashes, triumphs, joys, homesickness, and displacement.
Writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Kirk Honeycutt calls "Amreeka" "A heartfelt, fully realized comic drama about Palestinian immigrants in the American heartland." David D'Arcy of Screen Daily states "Dabis directs 'Amreeka' with a sure hand which takes the film beyond the clichés and sentimentality of the standard immigrant saga."
"Amreeka" stars stage actress and director Nisreen Faour as Muna, the mother, and Melkar Muallem as her son Fadi. Yussef Abu-Warda, a familiar face in Israeli films (the bilingual actor, an Arab, plays both Israelis and Palestinians) as a character actor, plays Nabeel, Muna's brother-in-law. Veteran actress Hiam Abbass, whom we saw most recently in Eran Riklis's "The Lemon Tree" and in Tom McCarthy's "The Visitor" before that, plays the role of Muna's sister Raghda. Selected out of hundreds of film submissions, the film ran in the Director's Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival and won the top prize. "Amreeka" also picked up the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.