Best new local production (documentary) | Best of Chicago 2015 | Arts & Culture 2015 Critics' Picks | Chicago Reader

Best new local production (documentary) 

click to enlarge Documentary subject Falah Farhoudeh

Documentary subject Falah Farhoudeh

Corner Stores

Though only 25 minutes long, this incisive documentary (which screened last year as part of the Chicago Palestine Film Festival) says a good deal about inner-city America in general and Englewood in particular, and it delivers a moving character portrait to boot. Director Amina Waheed, an Indian-Canadian immigrant who's worked on Frontline and Al-Jazeera's America Tonight, profiles Falah Farhoudeh (aka "Abu Muhammad"), a Palestinian emigre in his late 60s who's operated a convenience store in the south-side neighborhood for more than a decade. Farhoudeh is no mere business owner but a father figure to many of his customers; his positive relationships seem even more heartening in contrast to the film's powerful images of urban blight, which Waheed likens to that of a third-world war zone.

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