Yellow Asphalt

Yellow Asphalt


Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown

Yellow Asphalt is comprised of three distinct stories, sharing a common theme - the clash between ancient Bedouin traditions and the modern world.

In the first - and briefest - two Israeli truckers accidentally hit and kill a Bedouin boy. One tries to hide the body but, before they can drive off, the Bedouin men - here a largely unknown quality, full of dangerous potential - arrive.

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In the second a German woman, Tamam/Tatjana, trapped in an unhappy marriage to a Bedouin man, is told by the tribal elders to go back to their tent or - if she must leave - to go without her young children. Neither option is acceptable to her, so she flees with the children at night.

The final story is the longest and most substantial. A Bedouin woman, Suida, is having an affair with her Jewish settler employer, Shmuel. Then Suida, pregnant with Shmuel's child, is beaten by her husband. She turns to Shmuel for help but he is having none of it and instructs Abed to deal with the situation, forcing the Bedouin farmhand into an impossible choice.

Yellow Asphalt is a model of economical film-making and story-telling. Indeed, it's almost too economical. Of the three stories only the third feels fully developed. Its predecessors are more like a vignette and a short story respectively. But together writer-director Danny Verete's three tales comprise a powerful and reasonably fulfilling gestalt. The triadic approach allows Yellow Asphalt to convey more facets of the inter-relationship between the Bedouin and the encroaching western world than a single story film could do.

Reviewed on: 20 Aug 2001
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Three stories of the clash between traditional and modern cultures set among the Bedouin people, economically told.
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Director: Danny Verete

Writer: Danny Verete

Starring: Sami Samir, Tatjana Blacher, Raida Adon, Motti Katz, Moshe Ivgi

Year: 2000

Runtime: 87 minutes

Country: Israel


EIFF 2001

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