Watch AmericanEast putlocker
||IMDB Rating: 6.4/10 from R votes
||Release: 14 Nov 2008 /
||Director: Hesham Issawi,
||Synopsis: A family man (Badreya) opens an authentic Middle Eastern restaurant with his best friend, who's Jewish.
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"AmericanEast" is a bold attempt by writers Sayed Badreya - who also
plays the lead role - and Hesham Issawi - who directed the film - to
show a side of contemporary society that is rarely seen in movies:
Post-9/11 America through the eyes of Arabs, Muslims or anyone who
looks like one.
This is a noble undertaking, considering that American audiences
(unfortunately) seem reluctant to support movies that deal with
post-9/11 America. Even though many of these films have nothing to do
with the specific attacks that horrible, horrible day.
Perhaps it's our reluctance to accept or see our prejudices on the
screen. Or, perhaps it's the belief that anything that deals with
post-9/11 America inevitably reminds us of that day and we'd rather not
have that. Or, perhaps we just don't want to be told what our
government did in our name to "protect" us.
Whatever it is, films such as "AmericanEast" have a tough time trying
to find an audience and an even tougher time trying to get released
Which is a shame. Because this is a film that really ought to be seen.
It is awfully easy for us to demonize Arabs, Muslims and anyone who
looks like one and it was a task made even easier by the previous
administration. What Badreya and Issawi venture to do is show us
another, rarely seen side, to put human faces on their characters and
to make them something more than Hollywood caricatures.
The film works when it concentrates on Mustafa and his store/cafe. The
few characters who pepper his establishment are interesting and I loved
the idea of Habibi's serving as a meeting place for discussions. It's
reminiscent of Sal's pizza parlor in Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing"
(1989), but it still works in "AmericanEast."
That is not to say that "AmericanEast" is a perfect film. Far from it.
Issawi and Badreya want so desperately to make a statement with their
film that they cram it with way too much stuff. There are plots and
subplots here enough for at least another movie.
As attractive as Sarah Shahi is, her character Salwah's subplot is
completely superfluous. Salwah is not fleshed out enough and she does
things that are never fully explained or thought out. I don't wish to
be spoon-fed, but there were moments that seemed utterly incongruous to
I found Mustafa's young son Mohammed's cross-cultural dilemma and his
father's angst over it much more interesting than Salwah's predicament.
Even Mustafa's pot-smoking daughter was a more intriguing character,
who is barely explored.
Another peeve: The writers' need to be constantly didactic. Characters
pause to give speeches about tolerance and humanity. We get it. This is
a message film, undoubtedly, but there is no need to be preachy so
That having been said, and despite its flaws, I would rather watch this
film again than sit through "New in Town" (2009), "What Happens in
Vegas" (2008), "Made of Honor" (2008), "My Best Friend's Girl" (2008),
"Righteous Kill" (2008) and "Terminator Salvation" (2009), all of which
had wide theatrical releases, unlike "AmericanEast."
I am thrilled there are courageous screenwriters and directors, such as
the guys behind this film, out there making movies like this,
determined to show another very important side of immigrants. Hollywood
could sure use more storytellers like Issawi and Badreya.
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