Captain Abu Raed (2007) — Jordan
Abu Raed isn't an airplane pilot at all, even if he wears a captain's hat. He's just a janitor at Amman's international airport. But the neighborhood kids think he's the real thing, and so the "captain" regales them will his own unfulfilled dreams about travel to New York, Paris, and beyond. After the truth comes out when the boys see Abu scrubbing the airport floor "on his knees like a dog," their relationship only grows deeper because of his paternal wisdom. This film is also a pointed critique of gender roles, poverty, and domestic violence in contemporary Amman. Marud's father is a violent drunk who beats him and his mother. Tareq's father forces him to skip school and sell candy. And Nour, a gorgeous thirty-year old real airline pilot that Abu meets in the airport, detests her father's ham-handed efforts to arrange her marriage. The lives and destinies of Abu, Marud, Tareq, and Nour intersect in unexpected ways. I loved this film for its tender story and spectacular Jordanian scenery. Captain Abu Raed was Jordan's entry for the Academy Awards's best foreign film. In Arab and some French with English sub-titles.