Road movies have been done throughout the age of cinema every which way possible in film. And yet, the formula is so perfect that hardly I've found a dissonant note when it comes to taking a story on the road, on the big screen.
In A. B. Shawky's 'Yomeddine', which screened in Competition at this year's Festival de Cannes, the central idea remains that of a journey across the land but the Austro-Egyptian filmmaker -- yes Shawky's mom is Austrian, his father Egyptian and he grew up there -- substitutes the usual characters with two wonderful outcasts who charm their way into our hearts, slowly but surely, and manage to take up home there. Beshay is a small, disfigured man from a leper colony and the Pancho Villa to his Don Quixote is a little orphan boy named Obama. Both Rady Gamal, who plays Beshay and Ahmed Abdelhafiz who plays Obama are on their first acting roles in 'Yomeddine' and their freshness in experience is only paralleled by their awesome talent. Whenever the film could have played on our emotions too heavily, because of its intense subject matter, Gamal and Abdelhafiz find it within themselves to carry us through to the other side, and inspire, fill us with hope in the process.Read More