Theeb

Theeb

Streaming Video - 2014 | Arabic
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Nominated for the 2016 Academy Award. In 1916 Arabia Theeb ("Wolf"), a young Bedouin boy, ventures on a treacherous desert journey encountering mercenaries, revolutionaries and raiders as he tries to survive and live up to the name his father gave him.
Publisher: [United States] : Film Movement : Made available through hoopla, 2014
Characteristics: 1 online resource (1 video file (ca. 100 min.)) : sd., col
Call Number: eVideo

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s
scribby
Sep 18, 2017

We recognize the genre immediately: the early 1900’s; a beautifully photographed desert landscape; a lawless place on the edge of civilization; a stranger rides into town; a shoot-out against bandits in a canyon – yet the “cowboys” are dressed in Bedouin robes and they’re riding camels, and the desert has brown and beige hues rather than reddish. The American “Western” has been here successfully transported to the wild parts of Arabia and Egypt. (Of course the American Western has another alter-ego in another semi-mythical part of the world too; the Japanese samurai film; though in "Theeb" the Western trope is used not as a nostalgic look back on an earlier time, but as a biting critique of the coming of "civilization".) I won’t give away any of the plot, except that Theeb is a boy who learns about a bad world; there’s good (the tribal society) vs. evil (“civilization”), a couple of surprise twists, lots of artsy foreshadowing, and a stunning photography. Fans of Hollywood storytelling may find it looks a little too “indie”, but to me this roughness adds to the roughness of the storyline. The unseen, mocking voices in the canyon are genuinely frightening, as is the acting of the bandit who shows up later with uncertain intentions. The foreshadowing of the boy tracing the cracks in the parched mud is also an interesting moment. Worth watching if only to see how a familiar type of movie can be made unfamiliar.

A side note: To my ears, there seems to be some confusion about the name. The Arabic pronunciations alternate between “Thaybe”, “Taybe”, and “Teb” with a drawn-out E. I’m guessing that I’m hearing a vowel sound halfway between the long A and the short E, and a TH as a variant of a type of T. These sounds occur frequently in the world’s languages, and I speak no Arabic so I don’t know how they work in that language.

p
Pen__
Mar 19, 2017

Excellent story of coming of age, loss of innocence, loss of a culture, genecide, told through the eyes of a young boy. Superb acting, cinematography is breathtaking, music is exquisite.

Use of landscape, mountains, water wells, texture, lighting, to tell story.

Life and death, survival, loss, grief, brotherly family love, honor, truth, lies, clash of culture, wonder, adventure, revenge, anger...

Shepherd culture (kind, nurturing, protective, family, bonds, wisdom, honor, integrity) meets "civilization" (greed, lies, betrayal, speed, )

Well worth watching with the director/writer commentary also.

No "special effects", none needed. Fantastic traditional classic excellence in film and story telling. Using a well written story, with depth and many metaphors, fine acting, using natural landscape, lighting, pure quality in all,aspects.

Based on true events, (similar to the genecide of American Indiginous people, and many others around the planet), when cultures clash. Questions many aspects of humanity, including: what humanity, "civilization" (being civil) really is.

b
Bill_L
Nov 15, 2016

Brilliant adventure story. Breathtaking scenery, fascinating characters, superbly plotted and just the right amount of action. I watched it twice and will watch it again.

t
trotter73
Nov 15, 2016

interesting movie

i
ilovewhippets
Sep 24, 2016

Superb movie! Wonderful story and great acting! The Bonus section was very interesting, also! I recommend it!

s
snakie_chick
Sep 17, 2016

Slow moving but beautifully shot. Great ending!

v
voisjoe1_0
Aug 06, 2016

Young Theeb follows his Arabic brother, who is travelling on camel through a mid-eastern desert with a mysterious Englishman in the early 20th century. Lots of hard lessons for our young Theeb. The story is incredibly suspenseful and mysterious and the cinematograph of the rocky mountain sandy desert scenery is beautiful beyond belief. Is this film actually filmed on location?

w
wongsokguan
Jun 19, 2016

Excellent movie! Harsh life in the desert.

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