Petra Musketeers
Theeb
2014
Naji Abu Nowar

A young Bedouin boy has to grow up fast if he’s to survive practically alone in the 1916 Arabian desert in Theeb, the confident debut feature of U.K.-born, Jordan-based filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar. Though the pint-sized protagonist is never far out of sight, the film’s vision is anything but limited, as various encounters in the desert conjure a vivid picture of a world that has remained unchanged for centuries but that is quickly coming undone. Partially shot in Wadi Rum, whereLawrence of Arabia was filmed, this gorgeously mounted if modest production finds itself at the odd intersection of a boy’s adventure and a socio-politico-historical drama, which should give the marketing departments of brave niche distributors both unexpected opportunities and almost-certain headaches.

Theeb (Jacir Eid, a real find), which means "wolf" in Arabic, is the third and youngest son of a recently deceased sheik, and he’s being raised by his adult brother, Hussein (Hussein Salameh, actually Eid’s cousin), the second in line. The story proper kicks off when a desert guide (Marji Audeh), accompanied by an English soldier (Jack Fox, the cast’s only professional actor), shows up at the clan’s encampment, dramatically materializing from the surrounding desert-night dark. The rules of Bedouin hospitality force the family to send someone along with the two men to their destination, a Roman-era well that’s fallen into disuse because the people-and-goods trial it served has been abandoned since the introduction of a railroad through the desert.

 

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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