FOUR SHEETS TO THE WIND (Directed by Sterlin Harjo)
In the rural town of Holdenville, Oklahoma, Cufe Smallhill, a young Seminole-Creek man, is waiting for something good to happen. When his father dies unexpectedly, his sister Miri urges Cufe to visit her in the big city of Tulsa. But upon arriving, he develops a romantic connection with a neighbor that helps open him up and spark a domino effect of emotional catharses for the whole family.
Infused with warmth and a dry sense of humor, Sterlin Harjo (Seminole-Creek) skillfully directs strong performances from Cody Lightning (Smoke Signals) and Tamara Podemski (who was awarded a special jury prize for acting at Sundance 2007). Sweeping Midwestern landscapes are paired with an evocative soundtrack to create a rich cinematic atmosphere that, like the film, is at once quiet and emotionally resonant. 4 Sheets to the Wind was released on DVD in 2007.
AMREEKA (Directed by Cherien Dabis)
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...