Reporting Terri Lee Sylvester
DETROIT (WWJ) – A metro Detroit man leaves his career behind as an engineer and takes a chance at becoming a filmmaker. And, as it turns out, it was a risk worth taking for first-time feature film Writer/Producer/Director Sam Kadi.
Kadi’s feature film debut, “The Citizen,” is winning rave reviews and opens nationwide on Friday, September 27, 2013. In the metro Detroit area, it’ll be shown at the Emagine theaters in Novi and Canton.
The film focuses on a Middle Eastern man who wins the U.S. green card lottery for a chance to become an American citizen. He lands in New York City the day before before 9/11, and the terrorist attacks shape the struggles he faces during his journey to capture the American dream.
“How can I take something positive out of this thing and turn it into something positive, and I thought of definitely making a movie, and a film about believing in this country, and about seeing the American dream through the eyes of an immigrant at the most challenging time of our country’s history,” Kadi said. “I thought that would be worth watching.”
Worth watching, indeed. In fact, as I told Kadi during our phone interview, I couldn’t stop watching the film until the final credits rolled. It’s definitely a fantastic feature film debut.
But, when “The Citizen” opens nationwide, it’ll do so more than two weeks after the anniversary of 9-11. Why, I wanted to know, didn’t he debut his film on the weekend of the actual anniversary of the attacks?
“Because honestly, it’s not really a 9-11 movie so to speak,” Kadi pointed out. “The main element of the movie … is the American dream.”
And after fleeing war-torn Syria for America, Kadi is definitely seeing his American dream come true.
“America made it happen for me. That’s my American Dream. It’s the dream of being able to tell the stories that I want to tell, and to be a filmmaker that shares memories and stories with people, and I always had this dream and this is one of the reasons why I came to America.”
For more information on “The Citizen” and to view the trailer, click here.
See you at the movies!
Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee