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Inspired by true events, Sam Kadi’s award-winning feature debut The Citizen (2013) provides a gripping commentary on the sociopolitical landscape of the United States and the everyday struggles of Arab-Americans after 9/11. The film follows Ibrahim Jarrah, an Arab immigrant who wins the green card lottery and arrives in New York City on September 10, 2001 seeking refuge, opportunity, and a better life. The next morning, however, everything changes. In the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, Ibrahim confronts an America transformed, encountering virulent discrimination, prejudice, and xenophobia. Even in the midst of these struggles, however, Ibrahim manages to forge important bonds with his new neighbors, finding a community that reshapes his visions of the American Dream.

Even a decade on from its release, The Citizen’s examination of the immigrant experience in a post-9/11 world and its engagement with questions of racial identity, belonging, and community in the worst of times remains prescient.

Actor William Atherton and writer/director/producer Sam Kadi will join moderator Juan Campo (Religious Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion of The Citizen.

 

 

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