Each morning, Donya (Anaita Wali Zada) leaves her tight-knit community of Afghan immigrants in Fremont, California, to work at a fortune cookie factory in San Francisco. She drifts through her routine, struggling to connect with the culture and people of her new, unfamiliar surroundings while processing complicated feelings about her past as a translator for the U.S. government in Afghanistan. After an unexpected promotion at work, Donya communicates her loneliness through a concise medium: the fortunes inside each cookie. Donya’s koans travel, making a humble impact and expanding her world far beyond Fremont and her turbulent past, including an encounter with a quiet auto-mechanic (Jeremy Allen White) who could stand to see his own world expanded. Tenderly sculpted and lyrically shot in black-and-white, Babak Jalali’s Fremont is a wry, deadpan vision of the universal longing for home. [91 min; comedy, drama; English, Dari, and Cantonese with English subtitles]
This screening will feature a recorded introduction by Rob Riutta, IU alum and production designer of the film.
“A cross-cultural comedy that explores the freedom of being lost and the exhilaration of finding oneself.” — Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
“A contemplative examination of the immigrant experience that finds humor and humanity in its intimate story about wanting simply to find your place in a new land. A standout leading turn from newcomer Anaita Wali Zada.” — Zaki Hasan, San Francisco Chronicle
“Not to be missed. A coolly deadpan comedy. It takes nothing away from Jalali's distinctive filmmaking voice to say that the economy and sorrowful humor of Fremont is reminiscent of Aki Kaurismaki and Jim Jarmusch.” — Amy Taubin, Artforum
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