87 mins / Arabic (English subtitles)
Director — Elite Zexer
“Devastatingly good.” – Metromag
It is high noon in a desert village in Southern Israel. Jalila is hosting an awkward celebration – the marriage of her husband to a second, much younger wife – while her daughter Layla frets about her recently unveiled and strictly forbidden love affair.
A story of tradition, modernity, and divided family, Elite Zexer’s mesmerising debut feature portrays the layered relationship between mother and daughter, both bound by custom while struggling to adapt to a changing world. Zexer’s artful storytelling derives its authenticity—its complexity of character, rich detail, and subtle humor—from the 10 years she’s spent interacting with Bedouin women.
Darling of film festival critics and audiences around the world, and winner of the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinematic Dramatic section at Sundance; Sand Storm won Best Feature Film, Best Director and Best Supporting Actress at the 2016 Ophir Awards (Israeli Oscars) and was nominated for a further nine awards.
“…this emotionally intelligent first feature offers a sympathetic but clear-eyed look at the tangled skein of inequalities that entrap women (and the men they love and resent) in a Bedouin village stranded between modernization and anachronistic patriarchy.” – Variety