DVD - 2016 | Arabic
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1916. While war rages in the Ottoman Empire, Hussein raises his younger brother Theeb in a traditional Bedouin community that is isolated by the vast, unforgiving desert. The brothers' quiet existence is suddenly interrupted when a British Army officer and his guide ask Hussein to escort them to a water well located along the old pilgrimage route to Mecca. So as not to dishonor his recently deceased father, Hussein agrees to lead them on the long and treacherous journey.
Publisher: [New York] :, Film Movement ;, Prince Frederick, MD :, Distributed by RB Media,, [2016]
Copyright Date: ℗♭2016
ISBN: 9781501915604
Characteristics: video file,DVD video,region 1,rda
digital,optical,stereo or surround,2.0 or 5.1 Dolby digital,rda
1 videodisc (100, 15 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Waves '98


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Dec 16, 2017

Naji Abu Nowar’s “Bedouin Western” was Jordan’s official entry for Best Picture Oscar, the first such submission from that country. Both a coming of age story and a political allegory, Nowar’s spare yet beautiful film features a cast of impressive amateurs wandering through some of Jordan’s most austere desert landscapes (the same region stood in for the surface of Mars in Ridley Scott’s "The Martian"). Torn between revenge and mutual need, Theeb’s journey with a desert bandit introduces the boy to a world he never knew existed, where political intrigues and shifting technologies are as foreign to him as the distant sea he’s only heard about—to his young mind the mysterious Turks are more concept than reality and a locomotive is an unimaginable wonder. But trains are beginning to take over the much venerated pilgrims' route to Mecca and their steel rails have already started replacing camel tracks thus altering an entire culture. First and foremost however this is a wasteland road movie seen through the eyes of a youth whose own innocence is as fragile as the way of life he’s only just come to know.

Sep 18, 2017

We recognize the genre immediately: the early 1900’s; a beautifully photographed desert landscape; a lawless place on the edge of civilization; a stranger rides into town; a shoot-out against bandits in a canyon – yet the “cowboys” are dressed in Bedouin robes and they’re riding camels, and the desert has brown and beige hues rather than reddish. The American “Western” has been here successfully transported to the wild parts of Arabia and Egypt. (Of course the American Western has another alter-ego in another semi-mythical part of the world too; the Japanese samurai film; though in "Theeb" the Western trope is used not as a nostalgic look back on an earlier time, but as a biting critique of the coming of "civilization".) I won’t give away any of the plot, except that Theeb is a boy who learns about a bad world; there’s good (the tribal society) vs. evil (“civilization”), a couple of surprise twists, lots of artsy foreshadowing, and stunning photography. Fans of Hollywood storytelling may find it looks a little too “indie”, but to me this roughness adds to the roughness of the storyline. The unseen, mocking voices in the canyon are genuinely frightening, as is the acting of the bandit who shows up later with uncertain intentions. The foreshadowing of the boy tracing the cracks in the parched mud is also an interesting moment. Worth watching if only to see how a familiar type of movie can be made unfamiliar.

A side note: To my ears, there seems to be some confusion about the name. The Arabic pronunciations alternate between “Thaybe”, “Taybe”, and “Teb” with a drawn-out E. I’m guessing that I’m hearing a vowel sound halfway between the long A and the short E, and a TH as a variant of a type of T. These sounds occur frequently in the world’s languages, and I speak no Arabic so I don’t know how they work in that language.

Mar 19, 2017

Excellent story of coming of age, loss of innocence, loss of a culture, genecide, told through the eyes of a young boy. Superb acting, cinematography is breathtaking, music is exquisite.

Use of landscape, mountains, water wells, texture, lighting, to tell story.

Life and death, survival, loss, grief, brotherly family love, honor, truth, lies, clash of culture, wonder, adventure, revenge, anger...

Shepherd culture (kind, nurturing, protective, family, bonds, wisdom, honor, integrity) meets "civilization" (greed, lies, betrayal, speed, )

Well worth watching with the director/writer commentary also.

No "special effects", none needed. Fantastic traditional classic excellence in film and story telling. Using a well written story, with depth and many metaphors, fine acting, using natural landscape, lighting, pure quality in all,aspects.

Based on true events, (similar to the genecide of American Indiginous people, and many others around the planet), when cultures clash. Questions many aspects of humanity, including: what humanity, "civilization" (being civil) really is.

Nov 15, 2016

Brilliant adventure story. Breathtaking scenery, fascinating characters, superbly plotted and just the right amount of action. I watched it twice and will watch it again.

Nov 15, 2016

interesting movie

Sep 24, 2016

Superb movie! Wonderful story and great acting! The Bonus section was very interesting, also! I recommend it!

Sep 17, 2016

Slow moving but beautifully shot. Great ending!

Aug 06, 2016

Young Theeb follows his Arabic brother, who is travelling on camel through a mid-eastern desert with a mysterious Englishman in the early 20th century. Lots of hard lessons for our young Theeb. The story is incredibly suspenseful and mysterious and the cinematograph of the rocky mountain sandy desert scenery is beautiful beyond belief. Is this film actually filmed on location?

Jun 19, 2016

Excellent movie! Harsh life in the desert.

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