The victorious Nesib, Emir of Hobeika, lays down his peace terms to his rival Amar, Sultan of Salmaah. The two men agree that neither can lay claim to the area of no man’s land between them called The Yellow Belt. In return, Nesib will adopt Amar’s two boys Saleeh and Auda as a guarantee that neither man can invade the other.
Twelve years later, Saleeh and Auda have grown into young men. Saleeh, the warrior, itches to escape his gilded cage and return to his father’s land. Auda cares only for books and the pursuit of knowledge. One day, their adopted father Nesib is visited by an American from Texas. He tells the Emir that his land is blessed with oil and promises him riches beyond his wildest imagination.
Nesib imagines a realm of infinite possibility, a kingdom with roads, schools and hospitals all paid for by the black gold beneath the barren sand. There is only one problem. The precious oil is located in the Yellow Belt.
World premiere: October 25, 2011 at Doha Tribeca Film Festival
Cast & crew
|Antonio Banderas … Emir Nesib||Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud|
|Tahar Rahim … Prince Auda||Screenplay by Menno Meyjes|
|Mark Strong … Sultan Amar||Produced by Tarak Ben Ammar|
|Freida Pinto … Princess Leyla||Original music by James Horner|
|Riz Ahmed … Ali||Cinematography by Jean-Marie Dreujou|
Freida Pinto on filming the movie during the civil war in Tunisia: “It was terrifying. There was a civil war going on. People were burning down shops and malls; there was killing and bloodshed. I was stuck in this massive hotel with 354 rooms and only six guests. The lights kept shutting down, and there was a 5:00 P.M. curfew. But I wasn’t there by myself: Dev Patel came down to see me. I was so glad I had company.”