28 November 2014 | CynthiaMargaretWebb
A Bedouin boy's coming of age
This film tells the story of a young boy's awakening to the dangers and treachery in the adult world. He lives in a time of change, during the last days of the Ottoman Empire, and the coming of a railway has already changed the lives of the tribesmen of the area. There are bigger things going on around them, than these tribesmen, living out their traditional lives, actually realize. One day Theeb's older brother is approached by another Arab who is guiding an Englishman, in a desert crossing. The stranger wants Hussein, older brother of Theeb to escort them through an area that he's not familiar with. Theeb tags along, and from events that take place on this journey comes his rapid advancement into manhood. The desert settings shot in wide-screen ratio are superb. It's the dawn of a new age, unbeknown to Theeb and his brothers, sons of a departed but highly respected Sheik. The performances are excellent, particularly the intelligent wariness tinged with fear, that young Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat shows, playing Theeb (Wolf). You can read in his eyes,and face that his sharp mind is calculating the risks of alternative courses of action during the several scenes when events reach crisis points.From watching this young man, we understand that the life of desert tribesmen involved strong traditions, a strong sense of hospitality to other travelers (once identified and shown not to be a threat), and the sharp sense of self protection that must always be at 100% efficiency.
It's always wonderful to see a well-made film like this, but it's a special treat when the events are happening in a place and time, that is unfamiliar to us on screens of today. "Theeb" reminds us of Lawrence of Arabia, because of it's setting, but the film is on a much more modest scale than that Epic masterpiece. However, it is very well worth our attention. Highly recommended, this is a very good film for young adults as well as for their parents.