English and Arabic with English subtitles, 2013, 98 minutes, color, U.S.A./Qatar/Jordan, U.S. Dramatic
May has it all—a celebrated book, a sophisticated New York life, and a terrific fiancé to match. But when she heads to Amman, Jordan, to arrange her wedding, she lands in a bedlam of family chaos she thought she’d transcended long before. Her headstrong, born-again Christian mother so disapproves of her marrying a Muslim that she threatens to boycott the wedding. Her younger sisters lean on her like children, and her estranged father suddenly comes out of the woodwork. Meanwhile, doubts about her marriage surface, and May’s carefully structured life spins out of control.
As with her debut feature, Amreeka, Cherien Dabis lovingly breathes life into a world rarely depicted on screen. She takes us to contemporary Jordan, where ancient traditions, burgeoning modernity, and Western imitation deliciously collide, and nothing is quite what it seems. Taking a star turn in the title role, Dabis expertly captures the knotty dynamics of a household of women, mining the inherent humor and pathos as her irresistible characters stumble through rocky familial and romantic terrain. - C. L.
About the Director
Cherien Dabis received her MFA in film from Columbia University. Her short film Make a Wish screened at the Sundance Film Festival in 2007 and won more than a dozen international awards. Her feature debut, Amreeka, made its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival before heading off to the Cannes Film Festival, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize. It went on to win the Humanitas Prize and receive multiple 2010 Independent Spirit and Gotham Award nominations. May in the Summer, a 2010 Sundance Screenwriters Lab project, is Dabis’s second feature film.
Cast and Credits
Director: Cherien Dabis
Screenwriter: Cherien Dabis
Executive Producers: Rick Rosenthal, Nicholas Morton
Producers: Cherien Dabis, Alix Madigan-Yorkin , Chris Tricarico
Coproducers: Sabine Sidawi, Joy Goodwin, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, Beau Genot
Cinematographer: Brian Rigney Hubbard
Editor: Sabine Hoffman
Production Designer: Ola Maslik
Principal Cast: Cherien Dabis, Hiam Abbass, Bill Pullman, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, Alexander Siddig, Ritu Singh Pande
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