I saw the Abu Raed movie last night and it was terrific. Lovely tale of an older widowed knowledgeable man with 2000 books who finds a Captain’s hat that he sheepishly plucks out of the garbage. He lives in a poor neighborhood in Amman, Jordan and works at the airport, actually, as a janitor. But now, when he wears the magical captain’s hat, the neighborhood kids think he is a pilot and want him to tell them tales of his many adventures. He tries to confess to them that he is not a captain, but then he gets carried away and there is the tale, plus that of his next door neighbor Murad, a young handsome son of a very very abusive father who beats his wife and kids esp when drunkish. Then there’s the beautiful unmarried independent female pilot who is an important part of the story and all of this interweaves into a very romantic but dire movie that deserves every award it can get. The lead actor and the female pilot are both splendid, as are all the children, and the cinematography.
The question of a woman’s role in an environment where woman are not very well protected by society is portrayed here. No veils. This must be Jordan in the new millenium, yet they are expected to be subordinate, as is the poor woman who is the next door drunken clothes salesman’s wife. The female pilot is unmarried, says she doesn’t want to get married (to her father, who keeps finding wealthy enuff young men who are nerds who she has no interested in meeting or marrying), but longs for someone intelligent and interesting. Like Abu Raed. Whose wife died five years ago, but has wisdom and vision, tho is stuck on his path after death took his one son and his wife time back. Abu Raed is a great character, mild, helpful, yearning, tho he has never left the country (of Jordan). Go see this one.