Fremont (2023)

Directed by Babak Jalali

Donya, a lonely Afghan refugee and former translator, spends her twenties drifting through a meager existence in Fremont, California. Shuttling between her job writing fortunes for a fortune cookie factory and sessions with her eccentric therapist, Donya suffers from insomnia and survivor's guilt over those still left behind in Kabul as she desperately searches for love.

Seattle International Film Festival 2023: Film #7

I wish all 'off-beat' and 'quirky' comedies were like this: not simply 'dry' (vs. kooky and zany in the Michael Cera mould), but, more importantly, were confident in their comic timing to allow the camera to just sit there for an extra beat or three. I somehow wish there were more psychiatrist scenes in this movie — an almost pitch-perfect performance that recalled The Flight of the Conchords.


The jokes are drolly amusing, rarely trying to be more than that. The characters are endearing, even if we never get to know them too deeply. It’s all captured in hazy black-and-white photography and all with the same restrained emotional register, lending the film the ethereal feel of a half-remembered, mostly pleasant dream.

Ross McIndoe (Slant Magazine)