Twenty-something, second generation Lebanese-American Sami works the night shift behind the bullet-proof glass of his family's Detroit gas station/convenience store. He had been planning a different life for himself before his father was fatally shot in the pre-plexiglass days. Now seemingly content in his discontent, Sami runs the store with his overzealous cousin Mike (Mike Batayeh, Breaking Bad) who, despite a cash flow problem and a gas war with a rival down the street, exuberantly schemes to build a service station empire. Sami half-heartedly agrees to Mike's plans until the gorgeous Najlah walks in the door, selling cheap long-distance phone cards.
Rola Nashef's first feature film may well be the first Arab-American romantic comedy-drama and is also a modern day take on Romeo and Juliet. Sami and Najlah furtively meet behind the plexiglass, as Najlah tries to keep their relationship a secret from her strict brother as they fall in love. Detroit Unleaded is a brilliant debut film that showcases the new age of Arab-American cinema. (Film Society of the Lincoln Center)
Directed by Rola Nashef, U.S.A., 2012, 90 mins.Official site Profile: Rola Nashef Director interview Director statement