Sand Storm

Directed by Elite Zexer

Year: 2016
Running Time: 87
Color Type: Color
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Language: Arabic
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Sand Storm

Cast
Khadija Alakel
Haitham Omari
Ruba Blal-Asfour
Lamis Ammar
Jalal Masarwa

Crew
Directed by Elite Zexer
Produced by Estee Yacov- Mecklberg and Haim Mecklberg
Cinematographer Shai Peleg
Writer Elite Zexer


As wedding festivities get underway in a Bedouin village in Southern Israel, Jalila finds herself in the awkward position of hosting her husband Suliman’s marriage to a second, much younger wife. During the celebration, Jalila stumbles across her eldest daughter Layla’s involvement with a boy from her university—a strictly forbidden liaison that would shame the family. Burying the indignity of Suliman and his new bride living next door, Jalila also tries to contain Layla’s situation by clamping down on her. But Layla sees a different life for herself...

  • Winner of six Ophir Awards (Israeli Academy Awards) including Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress

    World Cinema Grand Jury Prize, 2016 Sundance

    International Competition Grand Jury Prize. 2016 Jeonju IFF

    New Directors Conpetition Grand Jury Prize. 2016 Seattle IFF

    International New Talent Competition Special Mention, 2016 Taipei IFF

    Jerusalem IFF Work-In-Progress Competition FIRST PRIZE

    Locarno IFF Work-In-Progress Competition FIRST PRIZE

    “Dramatically absorbing.” – Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter

     “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. The film boasts alluring desert visuals, muscular acting and intricate psychology… the energy surely belongs to Blal-Asfour as (Layla’s) mother, a caged tiger who smolders and paces and delivers tongue-lashings.” – Ella Taylor, Variety

    “One of the most-admired films at this year’s Sundance. A lovely, deeply affecting film.” – Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine

    “Elite Zexer, an Israeli making a solid, sensitive feature directing debut… has a fine eye for the texture of daily life, which she fills in with resonant physical details and sweeping, scene-setting views… Ms. Zexer is at her best when she daubs in color and minutiae… Ms. Blal-Asfour (is) a smoldering force… an actress who can express the entire history (and mystery) of a marriage and the complexities of people with a drag on a cigarette and a dark, unbearable look…” - Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

    “Critics’ Pick. Coursing with feeling - an ethnographic melodrama, rich in cultural specifics, but also universal longings.” - Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

    “Some very impressive filmmaking skills by a first-time director. Persuasive and finely wrought. Jalila is its most important and most fascinating character. Thanks in part to Blal’s extraordinarily skilled and convincing performance. There’s a feeling of anthropological exactness to many of (the film’s) details… (and) crisp, realistic cinematography.” - Godfrey Cheshire, RogerEbert.com

    “A straightforward tale of ruinous patriarchal order but with an insightful variation. Zexer weaves an impressively terse narrative of distinctly motivated characters. There are wonderful blips of feeling and significance.” - Clayton Dillard, Slant

    “A complex drama with characters to match. The choices (Zexer) makes in terms of visuals, tone and script establish her as a strong directorial presence.” - Kimber Myers, The Playlist

     

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