If you live in Michigan and have no plans this Friday night, you should head to the movie theater. After debuting at the Sundance Film Festival and winning a Cannes prize, Amreeka (http://www.arabdetroit.com/news.php?id=908) hits theaters to portray the lives of an Arab American immigrant family.
The film, unlike many portrayals of Arab American post 9/11, shows this challenges this ethnic family faces in America. It’s important to see this viewpoint here in America. Many times Arab Americans are seen as the villain, but in reality this community is often victimized. The director, Cherien Dabis, as an Arab American herself, strives to dispel stereotypes and right the wrongs of past actions.
She says, “If we don’t tell our story, who will? We can tell it the best, and with all the damaging misinformation floating around out there, it’s our responsibility as Arab Americans to work on reversing those inaccuracies.”
Her point is so eloquent—those that can personally identify with a culture are best to advise on that culture. The misinformation she speaks of can only be fixed through true understanding of this community, and Dabis’ film is a step in that direction.
Outreach and marketing ties in here because just as marketers want their audience to see their product/brand/service in the right way, the audience wants the marketers to see them the right way—to understand the truths of their beliefs, needs trends, and much more that makes up a certain community and culture.
This film doesn’t just represent one family’s story in America, but also the successes and advancement of the Arab American people. This community is growing rapidly; their education and income levels are high, placing them at a higher buying power than not only many minorities, but the mass audience as a whole.