The Asphalt Kings

Entertaining and accessible, "The Asphalt Kings" is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit.

With:
Said - Mahmoud Hmida Ringo - Abdallah Mahmoud Insherrah - Salwa Khatab Barber - Hassan Hosni Father - Jamil Rateb Mother - Ayda Abdelaziz

Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit.

Story humorously focuses on the extended family of bachelor bus driver Said (Mahmoud Hmida). His best friend, Ringo (Abdallah Mahmoud), a nice boy who indulges in violent hashish binges, is secretly engaged to Said’s sexually frustrated sister, Insherrah (Salwa Khatab.) But macho Said won’t hear of Insherrah marrying another bus driver, and, pathetically, he seeks a husband for her in a better social class.

Though debuting director Ousama Fawzi is careful to give the material a light touch, there is a lingering sense of violence, danger and death hovering just beneath the surface of his jolly characters. The contradictions of Egyptian society are well portrayed: Lusty, adulterous love affairs and drug use coexist with repressive attitudes toward women in the family. Loud, knife-wielding family feuds alternate with gaudy wedding ceremonies and belly dancers.

The cast is excellent. Particularly funny is Hassan Hosni as the local barber , who can’t resist telling his clients long-winded stories lifted from “The Arabian Nights.” Pic’s only problem for Western auds is that its story is as circular as Scheherazade’s tales, and doesn’t gather momentum or build to a climax. Instead, in a very Eastern conclusion, it simply ends by turning back on itself.

The Asphalt Kings

Egyptian

Production: A GF Films release (in Egypt) of a Heni Jerjess Fawzi production. (International sales: Misr Intl. Films, Cairo.) Directed by Ousama Fawzi. Screenplay, Mostapha Zikri.

Crew: Camera (color), Tarek Telmsani; editor, Ahmed Metwalli; music, Rajeh Daoud; sound, Jamil Aziz. Reviewed at Carthage Film Days (competing), Tunis, Oct. 15, 1996. (Also in Locarno Film Festival competing.) Running time: 99 MIN.

With: Said - Mahmoud Hmida Ringo - Abdallah Mahmoud Insherrah - Salwa Khatab Barber - Hassan Hosni Father - Jamil Rateb Mother - Ayda Abdelaziz

More Film

  • Anita Hill

    Anita Hill Chairs Hollywood Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Formed by Top Execs

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

  • Warren Beatty

    Arnon Milchan Sues Warren Beatty Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

  • Oscar Isaac Addams Family

    Oscar Isaac in Talks to Voice Gomez Addams in Animated 'Addams Family' Movie

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

  • Jennifer Lawrence

    Publicists for Jennifer Lawrence, Daisy Ridley, Amy Adams Form New Firm

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

  • Hannah Marks Liana Liberato

    Hannah Marks, Liana Liberato to Star in High School Comedy 'Banana Split'

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

  • NOR_D01_053017_9621_R2 – L-R: Tom Hanks (Ben

    Steven Spielberg's 'The Post' to Open Palm Springs Film Festival

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

  • Willa Fitzgerald

    'The Goldfinch' Movie Adaptation Casts Willa Fitzgerald (EXCLUSIVE)

    Entertaining and accessible, “The Asphalt Kings” is an Egyptian art movie that paints Cairo street life in bright colors with memorable characters. It won the special jury prize at Locarno (since when it has shed four minutes in running time) and should find most of its audiences on the fest circuit. Story humorously focuses on […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content