Common Sense Media reviews Towelhead for kids and families.
TOWELHEAD follows the dark, bold and shockingly funny life of Jasira, a 13-year-old Arab-American girl, as she navigates the confusing and frightening path of adolescence and her own sexual awakening.
When Jasira's mother sends her to Houston to live with her strict Lebanese father, she quickly learns that her new neighbors find her and her father a curiosity. Worse, her budding womanhood makes her traditional and hot-tempered father uncomfortable. Lonely in this new environment, Jasira seeks friendship and acceptance from her neighbors Mr. Vuoso, an Army reservist, and Melina, a meddling but caring expectant mother.
Thrown into an unfamiliar suburban world, Jasira must confront racism and hypocrisy at home and at school - and at the same time struggle to make sense of her raging hormones and newfound sexuality. Her boyfriend, Thomas, though a few years older, provides some comfort - but even that relationship causes problems when her father discovers that Thomas is black. Surrounded by adults who are just as lost as she is, Jasira yearns for understanding, even amidst often brutal acts.
Based on the critically acclaimed novel by Alicia Erian and written for the screen and directed by Alan Ball (Oscarr winning writer of American Beauty and creator of Six Feet Under), TOWELHEAD stars Aaron Eckhart, Toni Collette, Maria Bello, Peter Macdissi and newcomer Summer Bishil as Jasira.
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Set against the backdrop of the first Gulf War, Jasira, a 13 year-old Arab-American girl encounters various sexual situations, as she moves from living with her ill-tempered American mother to live with her strict Lebanese father in Houston, who is actually anti-Saddam, despite how he is perceived amongst his neighbors. Jasira's life becomes more tumultuous as she begins a sexual relationship with the racist father of the boy she baby-sits and an overly sexual African-American schoolmate. Her lack of knowledge of normality growing up in a dysfunctional family prevents her from understanding the abuse she is experiencing at first, until she slowly begins to grow up and realize what is occurring during a turbulent time in American society.
A 13 year-old girl encounters various sexual situations as she moves from living with her American mother to live with her strict Lebanese father.
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