Lebanon, Qatar, 68 min
Derar Nseir and Mohamad Mehani are two truckers used to crossing borders, small towns and cities. Derar is Lebanese, Mohamad Egyptian. Derar transports goods across Syria, Jordan and all the way to other countries. Mohamad drives from Egypt to the Sudanese border delivering necessities. The Syrian war and the fighting and uprisings in the Arab world make it more and more difficult for them to work. Yet the two men have one thing in common: making a living in an ever-changing scenery on a road that stretches miles across the Arab world. Asphalt examines closely the subtle but strong relationship between man and machine, while providing an intimate reflection on a life lived mostly behind the wheel. Crucially, the film also takes an intimate look at the ever-changing scenery and the asphalt strip that keeps it together. Asphalt is a unique road movie as well as the daily chronicle of a world where the most difficult fight is to keep on hanging on to the job that pays your bills. An existential documentary and a political commentary on what happened to the Arab springs.
Giona A. Nazzaro