Director: Babak Jalali Run Time: 91 min. Release Year: 2023
Starring: Anaita Wali Zada, Gregg Turkington, Hilda Schmelling, Jeremy Allen White, Siddique Ahmed
Producer Sudnya Shroff in Attendance
Beautiful and troubled 20-something Donya, an Afghan translator who used to work with the U.S. government, has trouble sleeping. She lives by herself in Fremont, California, in a building with other Afghan immigrants and often dines alone at a local restaurant watching soap operas. Her routine changes when she’s promoted to writing the fortunes at her job at a fortune cookie factory in the city. As her fortunes are read by strangers throughout the Bay, Donya’s smoldering longing drives her to send a message out to the world, unsure where it will lead.
Shot in black and white, and with warmth and a wry sense of humor, director Babak Jalali has crafted a loving portrait of a young woman haunted by the past but still filled with desire for companionship and connection. Featuring a cast of unforgettable, unique characters, and anchored by a beguiling debut performance from real-life Afghan refugee Anaita Wali Zada, FREMONT is an ode to the curious beauty of trying to build a new life in a strange land.
—Sundance Film Festival guide
In English, Dari, and Cantonese with English subtitles
Brattle passes not accepted.