Captain Abu Raed, 2007 Dir: Amin Matalqu

Captain Abu Raed is impressive. This Jordanian piece which was the winner the World Cinema Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival last year and you can see why.

The first Jordanian feature film for 50 years encapsulated Love and Wisdom with our hero Abu Raed. Abu Raed is an experienced old man who works as a cleaner in the airport. He is humble and is extremely aware of his surroundings in the shanty towns of Jordan. After finding a pilots captain hat whilst cleaning this worldly character provides the local children with stories of his trips to lands far away. These stories are fictional, but are a tool used to inspire the children for a better life.

After Abu Raed (Nadim Sawalha) talks to pilot Nour (Rana Sultan) after her car breaks down, the two of them make a friendship and open up to each other, creating a bond. Nour is a high flying female pilot who lives within a rich family who support her, but want her to have her own children and husband. I would have wanted to see more of Rana Sultan. She is a strong female and this in itself is quite the rarity for such a film.

However, it is not all fun as a few of the children turn their back after finding that Abu Raed is telling tales. He takes it upon himself to try and help the troubled lads, one has an abusive father. Abu Raed helps this family out of the slums creating a wonderfully upbeat ending.

Amin Matalqu’s characters have the ability to win you over whilst watching against beautiful cinematography from another land, nay, another world of which we forget exists sometimes.

© BRWC 2010.

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Alton loves film. He is founder and Editor In Chief of BRWC.  Some of the films he loves are Rear Window, Superman 2, The Man With The Two Brains, Clockwise, Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Trading Places, Stir Crazy and Punch-Drunk Love.



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