Hopefully the film, Captain Abu Raed, will be distributed in all the big movie chains. It is a movie well worth seeing. The story, taking place in Amman, Jordan, is about humanity and its mixtures of life’s abrupt cruelties, unexpected kindnesses, hopes and sacrifices.
Abu Raed, a lonely widower and janitor at Amman’s International Airport, finds one day in the trash a discarded Captain’s hat. Living in a poor neighborhood where fathers make their children work to make ends meet and some in frustration abuse their families, Abu inadvertently opens a door of hope to the local children. Seeing Abu wear his hat they want to believe that a real airline captain lives in their poor neighborhood. Full of excitement they follow Abu Raed who develops a relationship with the children. An avid reader, he tells them stories of the countries to where he supposedly flew. He inspires the children to look beyond their poverty. Not realizing how Abu Raed will effect his destiny, Murad, a bitter, abused child, attacks Abu Raed and the sense of hope he instills in the children.
Abu Raed, has a winning personality and is educated. He becomes friends with a younger female pilot, Nour, who confides in him her own set of pressures. In the end Abu Raed proves that with kindness and sacrifice life can change.
Abu Raed is played by Nadim Sawalha, a versatile actor who has appeared among others on BBC America’s Robin Hood, and on HBO’s mini series, House of Saddam.
Abu Raed is the first Jordanian feature film ever exported to the world’s cinemas. The subtitles from the Arabic are clear and easy to read. Cinematogrpher, Reinhart Peschke, caught the atmosphere of Amman, showing us its wealth and its poverty.
Abu Raed presented by NewClassics Films in association with Paper & Pen Films and GIGAPIX Studios A David Pritchard Production. An AMIN MATALQA Film. Music by Austin Wintory Costume Designer, Jamila Alaeddin; Edited by Laith Al-Majali; Production designer, Gerald Sullivan; Cinematographer, Reinhart Peschke; Executive Producers, Aida Jabaji Matalqa, David Pritchard, Isam Salfiti; Producers Kenneth Kokin, Nadine Toukan; Produced by Laith Al-Majali, Amin Matalqa, David Pritchard; Written and Directed by Amin Matalqa