& Video Fest
"Thoughtful and perceptive without becoming maudlin about the wages of (returning from) war"
"[Dina] Shihabi's Amira is a complex delight"
½ "the heart of Amira & Sam comes from a romance that breaks down the defenses of both characters, whose time in Iraq has given them a perspective other people can't share"
"Ingratiatingly charming, playful, and, above all, honest in its depiction of a budding albeit problematic romance"
"Funny, sweet, insightful, occasionally bitter... [Writer-director Sean] Mullin knows his rom-coms, and he knows them well: what makes them tick and why, and how best to tune them for maximum effect"
Tracing the relationship between Sam (Martin Starr, Knocked Up, Freaks & Geeks) an Iraq war veteran, and Amira (Dina Shihabi), an Iraqi immigrant on the verge of deportation, Sean Mullin's feature film debut is an assured romantic drama that packs a true emotional punch.
After returning from duty in the Middle East, Sam attempts to reintegrate into civilian society, by working a variety of odd jobs (including stand-up comedy), though often finding himself at a loss when it comes to dealing with people outside of a war zone. Seeing an opportunity in Sam's veteran status, his cousin Charlie (Paul Wesley, The Vampire Diaries), an unscrupulous venture capitalist, enlists him to help close a questionable investment scheme with a lucrative investor (David Rasche), who is also a veteran. Meanwhile, Sam becomes the reluctant host to Amira, the daughter of an old army colleague, by offering her a place to stay as she sorts out her immigration status. An unlikely relationship blossoms between them as they share a common bond as outsiders, and the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to deny their feelings for one another. However, when Sam's involvement with Charlie and his romance with Amira come into conflict, he is forced to risk everything in orderfor them to stay together.
Drawing upon his own experience in the military, writer-director Sean Mullin has made a thoughtful and perceptive film about the wages of war and healing the wounds between those on different sides of the conflict.
Directed by Sean Mullin, U.S.A., 2014, 88 mins.
- Fri., Jan. 30 at 7 & 9 pm
- Sat.Sun., Jan. 31Feb. 1 at 5, 7 & 9 pm
- Mon.Thurs., Feb. 25 at 7 & 9 pm
$10 general admission
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