Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Captain Abu Raed

Amin Matalqa, Jordan, 2007 (8.8*)
A lonely widower who works as a janitor at a metropolitan airport finds a discarded pilot’s cap in a trashcan at the terminal. He’s often dreamed of being a pilot himself, fantasizing about travelling around the globe, yet, like many, he’s been basically trapped in his own hometown for most of his life.

He spends a lot of time reading, and is quite literate, so stories come naturally to him. When some local kids see him in the captain’s hat, they start calling him Captain, and begs him for stories of his travels. Rather than disappoint the children, Abu starts telling them wondrous tales of countries he’s never visited.

At the same time, he is befriended by a beautiful young stewardess, played by Rana Sultan, and the two start a platonic friendship that allows each to share personal confidences. Abu is becomes particularly attached to one young boy, whose home life is marred by domestic violence, as his dad gets drunk then beats his mother.

This is a story that is beautifully gentle at times, and brutally honest at others, as the life that we envision for ourselves is not always concident with reality, which can be quite harsh for some. Nadim Sawalha turns in a subtle and moving peformance in the title role, photo below, whose face seems to reflect hopes lost during a lengthy life of toil. I’ll have to admit, this is my favorite film from Jordan (the only one I've seen).


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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