The 2000 film by Danny Verete, "Yellow Asphalt" ("Asphalt Zahov"), is a core component of my introductory cultural anthropology class. The film was completed over seven years and stars the Jahalin clan (at the end of the film, the credits include each Jahalin family member in the film). It comprises three vignettes, each concerning the collision of Israeli and Bedouin values in the Judean Desert. Every semester I think about changing out the film and showing something more current, but the fact remains that stories dramatize issued that are still relevant and fresh. Yes, the trucks are dated, mobile phones and cell towers are absent, but the basic issues are unchanged. Whether it be the 1950s, the 1990s or 2014, the traditionally nomadic Jahalin tribe and the Israelis continue to clash.
In a 2002 review in the New York Times, A. O. Scott wrote:
''Yellow Asphalt,'' . . . was completed before the outbreak of the second intifada a year and a half ago and does not directly address the volatile politics of the Middle East. The expulsion of the Jahalin from Israel in the 1950's, for example, and their further displacement by expanding settlements in the late 90's, are never mentioned. But the uneasy coexistence of Bedouins and Israelis is as unmistakable a presence in the film as the dust and wind of the desert.