Towelhead by Alan Ball |Alan Ball, Summer Bishil, Peter Macdissi, Aaron Eckhart | 883929047505 | DVD | Barnes & Noble
Towelhead
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Towelhead

3.0 4
Director: Alan Ball

Cast: Alan Ball, Summer Bishil, Peter Macdissi, Aaron Eckhart

     
 
Six Feet Under creator and American Beauty screenwriter Alan Ball makes his feature directorial debut with this screen adaptation of author Alicia Erian's controversial novel Towelhead. Jasira (Summer Bishil) is a 13-year-old Arab-American who's contending

Overview

Six Feet Under creator and American Beauty screenwriter Alan Ball makes his feature directorial debut with this screen adaptation of author Alicia Erian's controversial novel Towelhead. Jasira (Summer Bishil) is a 13-year-old Arab-American who's contending with the pains of adolescence when her life takes a sudden and unexpected turn. Sent to live with her stern Lebanese father, Rifat (Peter Macdissi), by her self-absorbed mother (Maria Bello), Jasira finds herself struggling to adjust to life in the suburbs while contending with racism and hypocrisy at every turn. Rifat lives in a modest, suburban Houston home next to racist reservist Mr. Vuoso (Aaron Eckhart) and meddling expectant mother Melina (Toni Collette). Adjusting to life in the suburbs isn't easy for young Jasira, though she tries her hardest to adapt to the unfamiliar environment by striking up casual conversations with her curious new neighbors. In the process, Jasira finds herself increasingly attracted to hormone-driven African-American teen Thomas (Eugene Jones). When Rifat finds out that his daughter's new boyfriend is black, he vehemently condemns the relationship. As America launches its initial invasion of Iraq, Jasira finds herself caught up in a potentially explosive situation that is only compounded by her raging hormones and the snooping of her pregnant, busybody neighbor.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Joe Viglione
Calling this motion picture Towelhead makes the filmgoer blink for a second, as the original title, Nothing Is Private, is a bit less leading and more descriptive. Director Alan Ball creates an immediately uncomfortable setting when a young girl is sexually abused by her mother's boyfriend, betrayed by her mom, and shipped off to her frighteningly overbearing father. The central theme is the dysfunction of everyone around the 13-year-old protagonist, Jasira (played by 18-year-old actress Summer Bishil), and how the perpetual victim of circumstance has to find a survival mechanism while surrounded by huge amounts of chaos. The deck is stacked heavily against the adolescent, with the smears and epithets she endures from classmates as painful as the other types of abuse -- verbal, physical, and sexual -- she is subjected to from almost everyone around her in a variety of different ways. Toni Collette is again brilliant, this time as pseudo-hippie wife Melina; she and her husband appear to be the only two people who have a clue about morality in young Jasira's truly grim reality. Watching Aaron Eckhart's character crumble is equally upsetting, the film a finely threaded series of harrowing events which force heavy guilt upon the adults over their selfish and highly questionable choices. Jasira's emergence from victim to young lady is a powerful antidote to the repeatedly unsettling predicaments director Ball puts the viewer through. The film is thought-provoking and sharp, with fine acting throughout, but it isn't easy, as this cerebral essay is not about entertainment.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/30/2008
UPC:
0883929047505
Original Release:
2007
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Home Video
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:56:00

Special Features

Towelhead: A Community Discussion - Director/ Screenwriter Alan Ball hosts 2 Insightful Panels on issues the film raises, one including Co-Stars Summer Bishil and Peter Macdissi, the other including the Novel's original author Alicia Erian

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Summer Bishil Jasira
Peter Macdissi Rifat
Aaron Eckhart Mr. Vuoso
Toni Collette Melina
Maria Bello Gail
Eugene Jones Thomas
Chase Ellison Zack

Technical Credits
Alan Ball Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Anne Carey Executive Producer
James Chinlund Production Designer
Daniel Glicker Costumes/Costume Designer
Marlena Grzaslewicz Sound/Sound Designer
Ted Hope Producer
Andy Keir Editor
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Randall Poster Musical Direction/Supervision
Peggy Rajski Executive Producer
Steven Rales Producer
Scott Rudin Executive Producer
Newton Thomas Sigel Cinematographer
Ira Spiegel Sound/Sound Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Towelhead
1. For Your Own Good [2:54]
2. Not in Syracuse Anymore [3:09]
3. Too Weird Neighbors [3:35]
4. Situation Heavy [5:17]
5. Stuff for Men [5:04]
6. Putting Ideas in her head [6:09]
7. Shared Letter [3:34]
8. Intimate Encounter [4:43]
9. Where's the Check? [1:59]
10. You Can If You Want [5:15]
11. Getting Shaved [3:05]
12. Apology Not Accepted [1:30]
13. Out With His Girlfriend [4:30]
14. Not a Bad Man [2:46]
15. Holiday Visitor [3:56]
16. Idiotic Christmas [2:16]
17. War Reporting [1:36]
18. Not-Quite Interview [1:54]
19. Fouler Mind [3:47]
20. Feel Like a Woman? [2:36]
21. Letting the Cat Out [2:58]
22. You Know What You Do [2:19]
23. Glamour Photos [7:02]
24. Sanctuary at the Hineses [2:40]
25. What's Private and Not [4:06]
26. Good to See You Again [2:44]
27. Where I Lost It [5:24]
28. Thought I Was Supposed To [4:35]
29. Good Girl [4:11]
30. End Credits [4:21]

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