“He who swims in the Red Sea, cannot know its true depth.”

As the First World War rapidly approaches Theeb’s forgotten corner of the Ottoman Empire, a Bedouin tribe is slowly adjusting to the changes brought upon them following the death of their respected Sheikh. It’s a subdued, yet tightly framed portrait of tribal life seen through the youthful eyes of the Sheikh’s youngest and ignorantly unskillful son, Theeb (Jacir Eid Al- Hwietat).

Turning to his middle brother Hussein (Hussein Salameh Al-Sweilhiyeen) for guidance and attention, cinematographer Wolfgang Thaler paints an exquisitely beautiful image of Bedouin culture as Hussein patiently teaches Theeb the nuances of nomadic life: tracking, hunting, finding water and the duty of Dakheel. The images are heightened by the natural, intimate relationship between Hussein and Theeb, no doubt in part due to, their real-life familial relationship as cousins.

The quiet beauty conjured by Thaler’s wide-angled shots of barren landscapes and director Naji Abu Nowar’s limited palette of pale sandy hues, unhurried exposition and exotic musical score is hypnotic. The tranquility is palpable until Nowar rudely interrupts the façade with clever transition shots that unnerve the peace.

Theeb is truly a cinematic delight that you must keep your eye out for. It’s exquisite, intriguing and downright thought provoking.

Director: Naji Abu Nowar
Screening: 16th October, 19:30
Venue: Kino Sheryl
Tickets: 8€

Country/Year: UAE/2014
Language: Arabic
Subtitles: English
Duration: 100′
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Thriller