Director: Naji Abu Nowar
Cast: Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen, Hassan Mutlag Al-Maraiyeh, Jacir Eid Al-
Language: Arabic with English subtitles
Country of Origin: United Arab Emirates, Quater, Jordan, UK 2014 100 mins.
Released by New Wave Films
In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy, Theeb (Jacir Eid), experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks, uninvited but eager for adventure, on a perilous desert journey with his elder brother Hussein (Hussein Salameh) to guide a British officer Edward (Jack Fox) and his guide Marji (Marji Audeh) to their secret destination. ‘Immersed in a way of life that has endured for centuries, the brothers are unaware of the tremendous upheavals taking place at the fringes of their world: the First World War is raging in Europe, the Ottoman Empire is coming undone, the Great Arab Revolt is brewing, and the British officer T.E. Lawrence is plotting with the Arab Prince Faisal to establish an Arab kingdom. The ensuing journey, filled with danger and hardship, will result in Theeb's greatly hastened maturation.
If Theeb is to survive he must quickly learn about adulthood, trust and betrayal, in a culture where a man's honour and righteousness determines his inclusion or expulsion from the community. Shot entirely on location against the ravishing landscape of Wadi Rum and Wadi Araba in Jordan, and cast with non-professional actors from one of the last of Jordan's nomadic Bedouin tribes to settle down, Theeb is a remarkable accomplishment ‘a skilful, genre-crossing blend of a coming-of-age drama and a western’ (Rasha Salti, TIFF).