Jordan’s iconic landmarks of Petra and Wadi Rum are known to be the settings for several blockbuster films, like Aladdin, Transformers and Indiana Jones. Hollywood stars travel thousands of miles to visit the must-see desert spots, but we bet you’ve never come across some of Jordan’s local hit films.
Don’t worry – we’ve rounded up all the must-watch Jordanian films that are not only set in the country but produced by its citizens too.
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As part of the #YoungFilmmakersCircle Programme, @theebfilm will be screening in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation at @nyuabudhabi, on April 18th, followed by a ‘making of’ discussion with the creators, writer/director Naji Abu Nawar and producer Rupert Lloyd.
Theeb, which is translated to wolf, is the name of the film’s protagonist: a young Bedouin boy who guides a British officer on his journey. The film is set during World War I, when the Great Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire took place.
When I Saw You, 2012
The film follows the journey of a young Palestinian boy and his mother who are forced to flee from Palestine to Jordan, as a result of war and conflict. The film sheds an illuminating light on the catastrophic conditions of refugee camps in Jordan, where over 700,000 refugees reside today.
When Monaliza Smiled, 2012
If you love a classic rom-com, then this is the perfect film for you. The film is about a Jordanian woman who falls for an Egyptian man living in the country’s capital, and the racism and discrimination they face as a multi-ethnic couple. The film sparks attention to the internal racism that exists within the Arab world.
May in the Summer, 2013
With Jordan being home to Muslims as well as Christians, this drama film shines a light on common societal clashes that many households face, such as inter-religious marriages, as the Christian female protagonist is set to wed a Muslim man.
Captain Abu Raed, 2007
The film, which was the first Jordanian film to enter the Sundance Film Festival, shows the story of an airport janitor who is mistaken for a pilot by a group of kids.