Documentary Filmmaker Returns to Find Parents’ Ancestral Homes in Mexico and Palestine After Being Forced to Leave Decades Ago

CHICAGO, IL: Colette Ghunim, Chicago-based director of the award-winning documentary The People’s Girls, which investigated the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt, is currently working on her first feature-length film, Traces of Home.

Traces of Home explores the tragic pasts of Ghunim’s parents, Hosni and Iza. Her father, Hosni, was forced to flee with his parents from political strife from his native Palestine. Meanwhile, Ghunim’s mother Iza fled an abusive father in Mexico with her mother. The film documents the family’s return to their childhood homes in Mexico and Palestine, examining what it means to be both an immigrant and Colette’s disconnect from her identity in the process.

With the ongoing national discussion involving the plight of immigrants and their contribution to American culture, Traces of Home offers viewers a rare glimpse into the world of a family whose lives were forever altered by their decision to come to America. 

“My goal is to provide a positive narrative for the Latino and Arab communities across the nation,” said Ghunim, “while exploring how first-generation Americans like me continue to struggle with our lack of cultural belonging anywhere.”

The Kickstarter campaign, going on now, must reach its goal of $35,000 by 12 p.m. on October 4th, 2019, in order to receive any of the funds pledged by its backers.



Website + trailer:

Previous film: 

The People’s Girls – A documentary on street harassment in Egypt (Won Best Short Doc – Arab Film Festival San Francisco) 

Univision Coverage

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