USA vs. Al-Arian

Line Halvorsen

Norway 2007, 99 min.


Spoken language: English, Arabic

Subtitles: English

Close portrait of an Arab-American family, showing asociety where fear of terrorism has resulted in increasingstigmatization and discrimination against Muslims.For years, Nahla Al-Arian and her children have beenfighting to prove the innocence of husband and father Sami,a Palestinian refugee, university professor and civil rightsactivist, who has been living in the US for more than thirtyyears. In 2003, Sami Al-Arian was accused of giving materialsupport to a terrorist organization. He was held in solitaryconfinement for over three years. Sami Al-Arian claims he hasbeen targeted in an attempt to silence his political views. Hissix-months trial ended without a single guilty verdict. Yet,because the jury hung on some of the counts, Dr. Al-Arianremained in jail as the prosecution intended to retry him. InMay 2006 he agreed to a plea bargain. Thereupon a federaljudge sentenced him to 57 months in prison and subsequentdeportation.


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Dutch distribution:

Norwegian Film Institute

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