Starting November 6th, U.S. audiences will finally have a chance to watch the film that had me exclaim "Hail to the power of cinema!"
Theeb by Naji Abu Nowar is this year's Jordanian entry to the Academy Awards, and if instinct serves me right, it will be among the final five. I don't want to jinx it by saying any more.
Theeb has been called many things, from a Bedouin Western to a Kurosawa-esque adventure set in the desert, from a jewel of a film (by yours truly) to a "classic adventure film of the best kind" by Variety critic Jay Weissberg. It is seldom that the media and audiences alike all agree on something but it seems that Theeb appeals to everyone. Beyond its perfectly structured story and its breathtaking setting in the Wadi Ram, Theeb is a film about the resilience of humanity and our need to survive.
The kind folks at Film Movement, the company distributing the film in the U.S., have shared an exclusive clip from the film. It is a poignant moment within this spellbinding masterpiece, the scene before everything changes in Theeb. Perhaps my own undisputed love for this incredible first feature by Abu Nowar lies in the endless possibilities this particular moment represents -- before Theeb (Jacir Eid), the lead character and unlikely young hero, is put to the test.
Because hidden within a campfire at night, surrounded by an assorted group of men of different ages and nationalities, there could be an understanding to be capitalized into world peace. But alas, as in real life, it is reduced to another missed opportunity.
After its successful journey around the world, screening from the UK to Iraq and from the United Arab Emirates to Norway, following its groundbreaking premiere at last year's Venice Film Festival, Theeb will finally reach U.S. soil on November 6th -- and not a moment too soon.
For screening venues and information about Theeb coming soon at a theater near you, check out the Film Movement website.