Towelhead (which also goes by the title Nothing Is Private) was one of the movies on my to-see list at Sundance that kept getting edged down by other movies, partially because of other priorities, though I also worried that it would be really disturbing. Now the film, based on the novel by Alicia Erian, has a theatrical release date of August 8 and a trailer that has only made me more uneasy about watching the movie — though also more curious, too.
The story is of the coming-of-age variety, though this one features a 13-year-old girl (Summer Bishil) whose Caucasian mother (Maria Bello) sends her to live with her Lebanese father (Peter Macdissi) in a small suburban town. She begins to explore her awakening sexuality, spending time with a boy from school (Eugene Jones III) and befriending a neighbor (Aaron Eckhart) whose intentions are far from pure. Her home life with a strict and sometimes abusive father only further drives her curiosity about her identity, her sexuality, her place in the world.
Alan Ball, creator of Six Feet Under, tries his hand at directing with the movie, and it seems to bear his signature marks of examining the darkest corners of the human soul while offering glimmers of humor and redemption. I'm both interested in and slightly afraid of this film. To check out the trailer,