The Citizen

The Citizen


Feature Film – Drama Inspired by True Events

Length: 99 min.

From Director Sam Kadi

From the website: Yearning to leave behind his life of misfortune in the Middle East, Ibrahim Jarrah wins the U.S Green Card Lottery for a chance to become an American citizen. Ibrahim lands in New York City the day before 9/11… and the events of the September terrorist attacks forever shape the struggles he faces on his journey to capture the American dream. Inspired by true events, filmmaker Sam Kadi’s feature debut is a gripping tale of courage, love, and perseverance, the qualities of a true CITIZEN.

NNIRR’s suggested critical questions to consider about this film as a supplement to the media literacy discussion guide:

  • What do you think are concerning issues in terms of how the characters are portrayed?
  • Consider the argument that this film perpetuates “New Orientalism?” and discuss how you/your community views this issue. New Orientalism in film is a concept where filmmakers cast real Arab American actors in roles that portray a culturally dominant view of the dichotomy of characters: the “terrorist” versus the “Arab American patriot.” Critiques of this film contend it perpetuates dangerous stereotypes (for further exploration of this topic, see the academic paper: Exploitation & New Orientalism in Sam Kadi’s ‘The Citizen’ by Hanan Alaklook, Jamaluddin Aziz & Fauziah Ahmad, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 2016.
  • How can the themes in this film support community conversations that lead toward better understanding of the racism and xenophobia fueled by the media, popular culture, social media and politicians (and subsequent policy proposals) in the U.S. and globally?