THEEB translates as wolf, and it doubles as the name of the main character of this eponymously titled movie from director and co-writer (with Bassel Ghandour), Naji Abu Nowar. The movie was one of the past year's nominees for Best Foreign Language Film and was submitted via the country of Jordan, though it was heavily backed financially by the United Arab Emirates. "Wolf" is an appropriate moniker for our very young hero, too. The initial screen crawl of a Bedouin proverb having to do with the wolf becomes both clear and telling by the end of this strange and generally entrancing film that proves once again: Blood is thicker than just about any of those other "ties that bind."
Hussein Salameh, below, right) and younger brother (our Theeb is the latter), a British soldier (Jack Fox, shown at right, two photos below), the soldier's guide/interpreter, and one in a small group of outlaw marauders who attack this ill-equipped foursome.
Jacir Eid's as Theeb (in the three photos above) and Hassan Mutlag's as the member of the marauders. How these two interact, learn from and help one another provides the most memorable portion of the movie -- the outcome of which is a stunner, though not really unexpected, given the time period, place and people involved.
Film Movement and running 96 minutes, Theeb, after playing a limited run in theaters all across the country, will be available on Blu-ray and DVD this Tuesday, May 17 -- for purchase or rental.