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May in the Summer

Comedy about the travails of a Christian Arab-American writer and her attempts to marry her Muslim boyfriend against her mother’s wishes.


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  • Director-Screenwriter Cherien Dabis
  • Producers Cherien Dabis, Alix Madigan, Christopher Tricario
  • With Cherien Dabis, Alia Shawkat, Bill Pullman, Nadine Malouf, Hiam Abbass
  • Qatar-Lebanon-USA-Jordan 2013
  • 100 mins
  • Sales Elle Driver

Writer-director Cherien Dabis makes her big screen acting debut in May in the Summer, a charming comedy drama about a Christian Arab-American returning to her native Jordan to marry her Muslim boyfriend, much to her mother’s chagrin. Dabis, who displayed such a deft comic touch with her directorial debut Amreeka, emits a breezy charisma in the title role of May, the successful New York writer torn between satisfying her mother’s religious traditions while continuing to maintain the independence she has worked so hard to achieve. Dabis, also the writer and director, skilfully avoids any sense of cliché or dramatic stereotype by focusing on the abundant humour in the culture clash. She is ably supported by a wonderful cast, notably the ever-luminous Hiam Abbas in a scene-stealing performance as May’s mother, replete with Hallelujah ringtone and ‘Have you got JC – It’s Hell without him’ bumper sticker.

Ali Jaafar

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