Theeb (15, 2014)
To mark the centenary of the start of The Arab Revolt, we host a day of special events that includes film screenings and debate.
Theeb (2014), a Jordanian Arabic-language film, focuses on a young Bedouin boy, Theeb, who must survive in the wide-open Wadi Rum desert during the Middle Eastern theatre of World War I, in the wake of the Great Arab Revolt against the ruling Ottoman Empire. Theeb and his brother Hussain care little for politics but find their lives interrupted with the arrival of a British Army officer on a mysterious mission. In keeping with the strict Bedouin tradition of hospitality, Hussein must escort the soldier across the desert, while Theeb tails them. Along the way they will encounter Arab revolutionaries, Ottoman mercenaries and bloodthirsty raiders, and young Theeb must learn about adulthood, trust and betrayal in order to survive.
British director Naji Abu Nowar spent a year living in the desert, casting some of the last Bedouins to have lived a nomadic life in lead roles, resulting in a stunning authenticity helped also by being shot in the same breath-taking locations David Lean used for Lawrence of Arabia. The film premiered in the 71st Venice International Film Festival where Abu Nowar won the award for Best Director. It was later nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards, making it the first ever Jordanian nominee, and at the 69th British Academy Film Awards it was nominated for Best Film Not in the English Language, where the director won the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer.
In association with Salaam Shalom and Shared Spaces Festival.