Captain Abu Raed

25 12 2007

Two and half years ago, before my first trip to teach in Jordan, I met two young Jordanian filmmakers in Los Angeles who attempted to give the several of us a sense of what to expect when we worked in Amman.  They were Laith Majali and Amin Matalqa.  When I returned for my third trip, in the summer of 2006, Amin (who was finishing up his film studies at AFI) gave me a copy of a script to the feature that he was hoping to shoot the next year.  It was a poignant story about an airport janitor who, after the death of his wife, finds his lonely life changed after he finds a captain’s hat which causes the neighborhood children to look on him in a new, expansive, way.  That script, CAPTAIN ABU RAED, has now been completed and debuted at the Dubai Film Festival (it will play at Sundance next month).  Amin directed, Laith was one of the producers.

The film, which is the first Jordanian film in dozens of years, was (when I saw an early cut during the summer) a powerful story of a man who learns to grow.  It’s star, Nadim Sawalha, is a strong force on screen, and the film touched my heart.  You can see its trailer (in Arabic, no English subtitles yet — Amin, are you listening??) on You Tube.  The film’s web site is fast developing and is a great example of the warmth that everyone brought to the production, a feeling which shows on screen.

I hope that the film can get distribution, since it is a truly universal film.

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