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Towelhead

HD   R Closed Captioning

Alan Ball

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Plot Summary

Set against the backdrop of the first Gulf War, Jasira, a 13 year-old Arab-American girl encounters various sexual situations, as she moves from living with her ill-tempered American mother to live with her strict Lebanese father in Houston, who is actually anti-Saddam, despite how he is perceived amongst his neighbors. Jasira's life becomes more tumultuous as she begins a sexual relationship with the racist father of the boy she baby-sits and an overly sexual African-American schoolmate. Her lack of knowledge of normality growing up in a dysfunctional family prevents her from understanding the abuse she is experiencing at first, until she slowly begins to grow up and realize what is occurring during a turbulent time in American society.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews

TOMATOMETER

49%
  • Reviews Counted: 113
  • Fresh: 55
  • Rotten: 58
  • Average Rating: 5.3/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: Summer Bishil turns in a gutsy, quietly riveting performance as Jasira. – Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times, Nov 5, 2008

Fresh: It's impossible to look away. – Tasha Robinson, Chicago Tribune, Oct 20, 2008

Rotten: As a director [Ball] amplifies the flaws in his own writing; his supporting characters are too broadly pitched to take seriously, and he tends to smack you in the face with the point of every scene. – J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, Jun 24, 2010

Rotten: It's too much, too heavy-handed. Disturbing is one thing. Prurient is another. – Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, Jul 7, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Good but beware..

I unfortunately rented this movie without fully investigating the disturbing sexual content, as it was very upsetting to someone my age (R rated movies are not technically appropriate for me yet). It was a wonderfully done movie, but I really wish I'd rented something else and waited to see this until I was older. I watch many R rated movies and I typically can handle them very well, but this one was quite difficult for me.If you are still "too young" for R movies, even if you consider yourself a mature audience, I highly suggest waiting several years, the girl is just far too close in age.. This was a great movie but very disturbing for young audiences!

Excellent

This movie is as excellent as it is disturbing, an honest portrayal of the life of a sexually abused girl dealing with puberty and all the baggage that comes with it. Left unwatched by her self-absorbed parents, protected by her nosy, yet naturally maternal neighbor, and preyed on by the man across the street, it's a wonder she even survives. This movie is excellent, but it's not for the feint of heart or the close-minded.

Hard to watch and kind of misses the mark

The subject matter is difficult - rape, abuse and racism - but it had it's moments of great acting. Unfortunately, the dad was kind of a caricature and never explained, the daughter more silent and confused than fully realized....there was an opportunity to deal more fully and deeply with this subject matter, but it kind of glossed over much of the depth in trying to get to the next awful thing that happens. I wanted to love it, and am still thinking about it...but it misses greatness because of the shallowness of the character explorations.

Towelhead
View In iTunes
  • $17.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2008

Customer Ratings