Review: Towelhead

Towelhead” premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year under the name, ‘Nothing is Private’, a name that both the writer, director, and cast weren’t too found of.


After a slight uproar due to the film’s sensitive content, it was renamed “Towelhead”, like the original script, and also the novel by Alicia Erian.

Towelhead follows a young Arab-American girl, Jashira (Summer Bishil) who is coming of age during the Gulf War. She’s sent to live with her strict father, Rifat (Peter Macdissi) by her not so caring mother Gail (Maria Bello). Jashira struggles with racism, growing up, and her relationships with her uncaring, older boyfriend, and her neighbors, (Played by Aaron Eackhart and Toni Collette).

I had high expectations for this film, especially since so many people lashed out at it last year. I became intrigued, and needless to say this movie did not let me down. It is hard to watch at times, but Director Alan Ball (who wrote the screenplay for my personal favorite movie, American Beauty) films this beautifully, and tastefully. The cast is great all around, I suspect great things for Summer Bishil, she is definitely one to watch.

4/5 Stars. Acting, and story are great all around.

Memorable Quote: "Now he probably thinks I love Sadaam! - Rifat (Peter Macdissi)

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