Amid the daily grind of West Bank checkpoints, the constant nagging of a controlling mother and the shadows of a failed marriage, MUNA FARAH (Nisreen Faour) merely survives life. But all of that changes when one day she receives a letter in the mail informing her that she’s received a U.S. Green Card. Heartbroken at the prospect of leaving her home, yet aware that it may be the only way to ensure a secure future for her son FADI (Melkar Muallem), Muna decides to quit her dead-end bank job and start anew.
Surrounded by the flag-bearing front porches of small town, rural Illinois, Muna and Fadi settle into their new home with Muna’s sister RAGHDA (Hiam Abbass), her husband NABEEL (Yussef Abu-Warda) and their three young daughters. Only then does Muna realize that what little money she brought with her was confiscated with a tin of cookies at customs. Completely broke yet too ashamed to tell her family, she begins her job search, but her bank experience seems irrelevant and her heavy accent doesn’t get her very far. Then Muna discovers that Nabeel’s patients – fueled by wartime patriotism - have abandoned his medical practice. Unable to pay their mortgage, Raghda and Nabeel risk losing their home. Caught in the middle of their financial crisis, Muna takes matters into her own hands and gets a job flipping burgers at White Castle. To avoid disappointing the family, she keeps the job a secret and passes herself off as a bank employee.
Meanwhile, Fadi is ostracized at his new high school because of a rumor that he’s a terrorist. Anxious to fit in, he befriends his rebellious cousin and her boyfriend and soon finds himself getting into trouble at school. Worried about what’s happening to her son, Muna marches into the school principal’s office in search of answers. Instead, she finds the comfort of an unexpected friend.
Then the inevitable happens. Muna and Fadi’s worlds collide, and Muna’s secret is revealed. When Fadi seeks revenge on the one person he deems responsible for their hardship, Muna realizes that it’s time to set her son straight. And ultimately, she teaches him a lesson that even she’ll never forget.
A lighthearted drama full of humor, Amreeka is the story of one Palestinian family’s sense of displacement, nostalgia for a home that exists but in their collective memory and struggle for a sense of belonging in a country that gives all newcomers a run for their money. It is also a glimpse into the secret lives of the first generation teenagers caught between their parents’ ethnic heritage and the Western world in which they live.