Hailed as the first indie film to come out of Jordan, “Captain Abu Raed” tells the story of an elderly airport janitor and the twist of fate that sees him become a hero to a group of children. Donning an airline captain’s hat, Abu Raed plays a sort of Captain Kangaroo character to the kids…minus the puppets and creepy guys in green denim. He wows the kids with his made-up tales of world travel, fueling their hopes and dreams for a better life. But, as it always seems to be, there’s one kid who wants to spoil the fun for everyone else and this one little brat goes as far as catching a cab with a few of the other kids to take them to the airport and show them that their hero is nothing but a janitor. With his cover blown, reality sets in and the good times stop rolling. However, Abu Raed continues his hero role, this time for really reals, and for the kid that blew the whistle on him, by making an attempt to bring a stop to the domestic violence raging in the boy’s home.
“Captain Abu Raed” starts off nice and easy/breezy just like any life-affirming tale of a fantastic storyteller should be. Even though, throughout the first half of the film, you’re not sure where this is all going, you’re still enjoying your visit with this charming old guy. But once the theme of domestic violence is introduced, the movie takes a turn for the darker and life isn’t as rosy as the movie would like you to believe at its starting point.
Much like its title character’s storytelling prowess, “Captain Abu Raed” has the charm and the power to touch audiences worldwide.