A beautifully simple and stunningly elegant film, Naji Abu Nowar’s delightful Theeb is the story of a young Bedouin boy caught up in violence when stranded in the Arabian Desert in 1916.

The film is a confident debut from the Jordan based filmmaker and makes great use of the Wadi Rum. Theeb is played with infectious enthusiasm by Jacir Eid. His character is the son of a sheik who has recently died. Close to his grown-up brother Hussein (Hussein Salameh), he refuses to stay in camp when Hussein agrees to help guide an English soldier (Jack Fox) and his guide (Marji Audeh) to a waterhole. The three men are forced to take him with them, but what starts as a genial adventure heads into dark territory as the group are attacked.

Young Jacir Eid is thoroughly engaging as Theeb, while Hassan Mutlag makes a fine impact as a dubious traveller who stumbles to the well. Beautifully shot by Wolfgang Thaler (cinematographer on Ulrich Seidl’s Paradise trilogy), the film makes the most of majestic backdrops.

Mark Adams
Screen Internationa


Please note that the festival is over 18s only