May in the Summer

May in the Summer, the sophomore venture from director/writer/star Cherine Dabis, begins its theatrical run this week. It’s a cross-cultural drama/comedy about a thirty-something New Yorker (portrayed by Dabis herself) who goes home to Jordan to plan her summer wedding only to be confronted with the fallout of her parents’ divorce. The movie reveals a different side of marriage and companionship, and also a view of the Middle East you won’t get anywhere else.

“I grew up spending summers in Jordan with my mom and sisters,” explains Dabis. “We’d stay with my grandparents’ where we slept on mattresses along the floor. It was cramped, there was no privacy and our personalities couldn’t have clashed more. The oppressive heat kept us confined under the same roof, which was just as well because we didn’t have anywhere to go anyway. It was a recipe for family drama.

“When I was 17, my parents separated, and that family rupture has always been a wound I’ve wanted to confront. My mom moved back to Jordan in order to be closer to family, and I found myself spending even more time there. Whereas in the small Ohio town where we lived for most of my younger years, I was considered Arab, in Jordan, I was seen as the American. It was an interesting paradox and a part of my identity that I wanted to explore.”

Dabis’s first film was Amreeka, which won multiple awards and established her as a gifted filmmaker.

We encourage you to enjoy the trailer and see this film on its opening weekend in your city.

To see when the film will open in your city, visit

Top image: Cherien Dabis on location directing ‘May in the Summer.’ Photo courtesy Cohen Media Group.

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