Naji Abu Nowar
FILM SYNOPSIS: In Hejaz province, Arabia, recently orphaned brothers Hussein and Theeb, who live a traditional Bedouin life, are caught up in the world events of 1916 when a British officer asks them to guide him through the desert to strategically important Ottoman train tracks. Their journey, fraught with danger, leads them in an unanticipated direction.
Gaining Jordan’s first Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign Language Feature, “Theeb” is a period adventure film that does not adhere to many of the conventions of its genre. Following the title character, a young boy whose curiosity towards some passing strangers leads him into the vast desert where an impeding war over Ottoman train tracks causes peril for all those involved, the film feels impressive through most of its journey. There’s an authenticity that comes with the characters, as flies buzz in and out of their mouths and they look so comfortable in their desert surroundings that you’d be hard-pressed to believe they weren’t accustomed to this lifestyle.
What’s its competition? If “Son Of Saul” weren’t the juggernaut that it is in this category, the sheer epic quality of “Theeb” could put it in contention to win. But in my opinion, it also would have to overcome the emotional brilliance and performances of France’s “Mustang.” But “Theeb” is definitely one of those films that is viewed in the United States and honored for its achievements for even getting as far as it did, opening doors for all those involved and in the process finally putting Jordan on the map as far as Oscar nominations go.
Previous nominations? This is the first Academy Award nomination for Jordan.
“Theeb” (2015) Trailer:
// Produced by Diala Al Raie, Bassel Ghandour, Nasser Kalaj, Yanal Kassay, Rupert Lloyd, Laith Majali, and Nadine Toukan //
// Directed by Naji Abu Nowar //
// Dated Viewed: Monday, February 8th, 2016 // LAEMMLE MUSIC HALL // 15 films – 21 days //