Sand Storm ★★★★½

I love films that manage to have a small focus but a huge scope. This seemingly simple film relates a story that has a resounding impact as it gives insight into a culture that will undoubtedly be unknown to many.

It deals with a Bedouin community in Israel and specifically with a wife and her daughter. We are thrust into their lives and get to know them through their daily routine, an incredibly effective story telling mechanism in a film like this. There is seemingly no plot, but there is a catalyst that sets director Zexer's narrative in motion, revealing its true intentions. The head of the patriarchal group decides to get a second wife, thus 'demoting' the status of our protagonists.

The way Zexer handles this is without cheap manipulation. This film has such a natural feel to it that the struggles and tiny acts of rebellion mother and daughter get up to become tangible and feel real. And this struggle of finding a place in a male dominated society is so easily transported to the state the world is in currently. Watch this film and see a template of a community that fits a bit too easily on the brunt of global societies.

I don't think it is Zexer's intention to condemn or judge. She handles the central theme of choice or lack there of with subtlety and with and impressive objectivity. She doesn't empower women for empowerment's sake, but instead she focuses on bringing out real strength in a real situation with real issues. And that is the reason why the way things eventually unfold become almost excruciatingly bitter.

This is a hugely underseen film, something that needs to be remedied in my opinion.

DirkH liked this review