Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Towelhead

Believe it or not, I actually read an article in Texas Monthly about this up-and-coming movie even before the recent obsession with all things Alan Ball. (Aside: Alan Ball is the writer/creator of Six Feet Under, American Beauty, and, of course, True Blood.) Yes, I think it's okay to say 'towelhead' if it refers to the a movie/book and not an actual person that might be offended by such a reference...maybe.

Apparently, some local Islamic groups have been a little offended by the title. But being that the novel of the same name was written by a woman who refers to herself, lovingly as a, er, 'towelhead,' I don't really know what there is to be offended about. Would the African American community be offended at a book entitled...well, you know. I've heard Chris Rock and I kinda don't think so? (Which by the way, his latest routine is hilarious.)

But if you have an immediate reaction to the title, you can pretty much bet the ranch that you'll be squirming in your seat through the whole movie. Here's what you're looking at: a thirteen-year-old half American, half-Lebanese girl named Jasira is sent to live with her father after her mother discovers her (the mother's) boyfriend has relieved Jasira's 'lady parts' of all of her follicular adornments. Upon arriving in Houston to begin a new life with her newly Christian yet highly traditional Lebanese father, Jasira launches into a hysterical, tragic, and albeit controversial journey of sexual exploration, with the help of her pedophilic middle-aged white neighbor. Not exactly your typical coming of age story.

Which is of course why I'm dying to watch it! And it doesn't help that it's set in Houston, Texas, where I grew up. And it couldn't be a more perfect place to tell a story about things that are a little strange going on behind closed doors. And it demonstrates Houston/Texas as the melting pot that it really is--and a fast-paced business world where people get up, go to work in their high-rise office buildings, and go home. But then maybe they can't stand the heat. Or the traffic. I don't know.

Anyway, Towelhead (the movie) was released to select cities on September 12th, which of course means that is hasn't been seen in any of my local theatres. That being said, I think I'll pick up the book by Alicia Erian (above). Thanks, Alicia, for writing a NEW story about the Middle Easterner's experience. I'm so done with jihad, wars, mutilation and tragic death. I swear, if I have to read one more of those, I'll be depressed with suicidal tendencies. Did anyone else try to fight their way through Infidel? I'd rather get a sharp stick in the eye.
(Photos courtesy of Amazon.com and MetroActive Books.)

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