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This historical footnote has a lasting place in cinema thanks to David Lean's 1962 film classic "Lawrence of Arabia". Inspired by "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," the 1922 autobiography of British army officer T.E. Lawrence, the film uses the geopolitical contest for control of the Arab east as a canvas to render something of the myths and realities of one man's ambitions. It's often been noted that, in the way of autobiography, Lawrence's account rather overstates his own importance in the Arab Revolt against Ottoman rule – a narrative inflation to which Lean's adaptation gestures. The film commences at a relaxed pace that continues for most of its 100 minutes."Theeb" had its world premiere at Venice this year, screening in the Orizzonti (Horizons) section – focusing on works seen to represent new directions in cinema – where it won Abu Nowar the Best Director prize. The film had its Arab world debut this week at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, where it's screening in the New Horizons competition for first and second features. The acting of the Jordanian principals – Hassan Mutlag, whose character surfaces in the second half of the film, as well as Jacir Eid and Hussein Salameh – is restrained and intense, suggesting that Abu Nowar deserved his director's prize.Penned by Abu Nowar and Bassel Ghandour, the story is noteworthy on a number of levels.
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