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Towelhead

2007 R 1h 56m DVD

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Towelhead

2007 R 1h 56m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
Based on Alicia Erian's novel, this coming-of-age tale follows the topsy-turvy life of Jasira (Summer Bishil), a 13-year-old Arab American girl wrestling with the challenges of adolescence, bigotry and life with an overbearing father. Directed and adapted for the big screen by Alan Ball (American Beauty), this darkly comic film set during the first Gulf War earned Bishil a Best Female Lead nod at the Independent Spirit Awards.
Format
DVD
Screen
Widescreen Anamorphic 1.78:1
Subtitles
English, English SDH, French, Spanish (Neutral)
CC
No
Audio
English: Dolby Digital 5.1, French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Rating
R - Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian. Contains some adult material. Parents are urged to learn more about the film before taking their young children with them.
age 17+
Common Sense rating Not for kids
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Reviews

age 17+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that this disturbing movie is highly controversial by intent. The film's trailer sells it as a contemporary satire about an ethnically mixed culture, but the only humor comes from viewers' shock at seeing characters portrayed as ridiculously obtuse, cruel, and unaware. There are many scenes of intense psychological and sexual abuse. The victim is a 13-year-old girl who's dealing with her own budding sexual urges; throughout the film, she's at the mercy of predatory adults, dysfunctional parents, and race-baiting teens and kids. Scenes of masturbation, statutory rape, intercourse, and bare-breasted fantasies alternate with scenes of racial name-calling, dishonesty, jealousy, and heartlessness. In other words? Not for kids.

Sexual Content

Frequent sexual scenes that include bare-breasted women (in a magazine and in a sexual fantasy), a teen boy and girl having intercourse, sounds of an adult couple having sex, an adult male seducing and sexually assaulting 13-year-old, a teen boy and an adult male preparing to shave a young teen's pubic hair in two separate scenes, menstrual blood (including one scene of a bloody tampon), multiple scenes of teen masturbation (both off-camera and partially on-camera), and a teen girl being asked to strip for male pleasure on two occasions.

Violence

A father loses his temper on two occasions -- he grabs, hits, spits, and uses his fists on a girl. A dead kitten on road, then seen in plastic bag and placed in freezer. Sexual assault against a teen girl.

Language

Used liberally throughout: "f--k," "bulls--t," "ass," "piss." Racial slurs (including the term used as the movie's title) as well.

Social Behavior

Racism (both subtle and overt) is seen from a variety of angles: toward Middle-Eastern people, toward African Americans. People who are themselves victims of bigotry reveal themselves to be bigoted. A Lebanese girl is called "towelhead," "camel jockey," "sand n----r." She learns to fight back and not allow such behavior. Adults continually act in inappropriate ways, exhibiting ignorance, self-involvement, cruelty, inept parenting, dishonesty, and sexual perversion.

Consumerism

Not applicable.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

Father gives taste of beer to young teen daughter; 13-year-old sneaks margarita and feels its effect; adult couple gets tipsy after wine with dinner.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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