Synopsis & Film Details
Filmworks presents the multicultural romantic comedy “May in the Summer,” the latest feature from Palestinian American filmmaker Cherien Dabis. The movie, which has charmed festival audiences from Venice to Sundance, tells the story of May, a sophisticated and educated New Yorker who travels to her childhood home of Amman, Jordan for her wedding. Immediately upon returning home — a cosmopolitan Middle Eastern city, still full of natural and spiritual landscapes — the cracks in her seemingly perfect life begin to show. Her Christian mother disapproves of her fiance’s Muslim faith, her sisters revert to behaving like rebellious teenagers, and their estranged father attempts to make amends for divorcing their mother for a younger woman. Confronted with the unavoidable wounds of her own family’s long-broken relationships, the fresh culture clash of old-world traditions and modern values leaves May at a crossroads. Written, directed by, and starring Dabis, whose debut feature film “Amreeka” played to international acclaim in 2009. Co-starring Hiam Abbass, Alia Shawkat, and Bill Pullman.
Director: Cherien Dabis
Jordan/Qatar/USA (2013) • 99 minutes • Rated R
After the 5:30 p.m. show, join visiting filmmaker Cherien Dabis to talk about the movie. Dabis earned her MFA in Film from Columbia University, and she first gained international acclaim in 2009 for her debut feature film, “Amreeka.” Dabis won a Sundance/Time Warner storytelling grant, several Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art grants, and the prestigious NHK International Filmmaker Award to support the development of the screenplay for “May in the Summer.” Moderated by Filmworks board member Mary Husain.
Support for this special filmmaker appearance comes from Howard and Christine Watkins, and two anonymous donors.
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CineCulture is a free film series at Fresno State offered as a service to the community. Also a student club, as well as an academic course offered by the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism, CineCulture promotes cultural awareness and understanding through movies and post-screening discussions that are facilitated by a diverse cast of speakers with relevant expertise, including filmmakers, scholars, and more. Screenings are Fridays at 5:30 p.m. during the spring and fall semesters, except on the second Friday of each month when CineCulture joins Fresno Filmworks.