Reviewing Six Months to Salvation, a documentary directed and written by Lorenzo Benitez, a sophomore at Cornell and staff writer for The Sun, could present a conflict of interests. I reassure my readers, Lorenzo and I have never met. Other than our alma-mater and having read a few of his articles in The Sun, no stifling connection skews my impression of the film. I share the following review as a mostly unbiased audience member. Six Months to Salvation follows a service trip to Thailand where Lorenzo and several other volunteers teach English over a six month period.
One would expect a foreign film like Theeb to provide the audience with some sort of historical backdrop in order to contextualize a niche storyline. However, besides the minimal information that we are now in 1913 Jordan, not much else is given to Theeb’s viewers, who are immediately afterwards thrown into a jarringly different geo-historical perspective limited through the eyes of a child. Viewers quickly learn this child is the titular character Theeb who lives away from sedentary civilization. Historically keen viewers can surmise (or avid Googlers can verify) that Theeb belongs to a nomadic group of people called Bedouins. The intrinsic vagrant nature of Theeb’s life coupled with his naïve youth parallel our limited contextual understanding of the setting of the film.