Theeb | Chicago Reader


Described as the first Bedouin western, this affecting coming-of-age drama (2014) follows a man and his ten-year-old brother, Theeb, as they guide an Englishman through the desert, where the boy remains for more adventures. The story, set in 1916 and told largely from Theeb's perspective, is replete with threats, the environment both fantastical and forbidding. First-time director Naji Abu Nowar rehearsed his largely nonprofessional cast for almost a year before shooting began, and as the title character, Jacir Eid beautifully conveys a mix of emotions, from wonder to fear to determination. Surround sound adds menacing echoes amid the rocks; especially effective is Nowar's cutting between close-ups of the characters and long shots of them dwarfed by desert landscapes as they struggle to survive. In Arabic with subtitles.



  • Naji Nowar


  • Jacir Al-Hwietat
  • Jack Fox


  • Bassel Ghandour
  • Laith Majali
  • Nasser Kalaj
  • Rupert Lloyd
  • Nadine Toukan

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