The setting of this film is 1916 during WWI and the Great Arab Revolt against the ruling Ottoman Empire in the province of Hijaz. Recently orphaned, Hussein and his brother Theeb go with Edward and Marji into the desert. Edward is a British Officer and Marji is an Arab. Hussein and Theeb are the second and third sons of a Bedouin sheik of the Howeitat tribe. The family has worked as pilgrim guides for many years. The brothers originally intended to let the other two men go alone but Hussein believes he should go with them because knows where the wells are located. Theeb gets into trouble several times concerning a wooden box rumored to contain gold. Edward warns him to leave the box alone but Theeb is very curious. The first well they reach has been contaminated and the men notice a group in the distance watching them.
Theeb means wolf but also manhood in the Bedouin language. The scenery of this area is very beautiful and also very desolate. It’s not easy to stay alive in such a hostile environment. I thought the behavior of the camels was unusual and amazing! They have adapted fully to their location and are the fittest to survive. I wondered what was in the wooden box and I was wrong about it’s contents? I was surprised about the ending as well. 3 ½* (I liked this movie)
100 min, Adventure directed by Naji Abu Nowar with Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat, Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen, Hassan Mutlag Al-Maraiyeh, Jack Fox, Marji Audeh, Hmood Ali, Abdul Aziz Mousa, Baha Othman, Ali Omayan.
Note: Imdb 7.3 out of 10, 97% critic 76% audience on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon 4.2* out of 5* with 86 reviews, Metacritic 80 out of 100 with 18 critics 7.1 out of 10 with 17 reviews, The Guardian 3* out of 5*.
Special Note: Filmed in Wadi Rum, Wadi Araba, Daba’a, Jordan. This film is a Jordanian Arabic-language production and all the actors are non-professionals except for Jack Fox in the role of Edward, the British soldier. The actors are from the Bedouin community in Southern Jordan. The filming took place in the same area where Lawrence of Arabia was shot in the early 1960’s. Scenes of The Martian were also filmed in this area. There is heavy tourist activity in this location and that needed to be avoided. It took five weeks to film and there were other difficulties. The sand, heat, flash floods, storms, rain and the desert well sequence with Theeb needed to be filmed again at a later date.