Sand Storm

Director: Elite Zexer
Screenwriters: Elite Zexer

Institute History

  • 2016 Sundance Film Festival

Description

World Cinema Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

Sun. January 31, 3:30pm, Eccles Theatre, Park City

Best of Fest: Mon. February 1, 9:00pm, Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room, Sundance Resort

As wedding festivities get underway in a Bedouin village in 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 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 younger and possessed of a boundless spirit, Layla sees a different life for herself.

A story of tradition, modernity, and divided family, Sand Storm upends expectations. At its core, Elite Zexer’s mesmerizing debut feature portrays the emotionally 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. Her fidelity to their experience allows her to beautifully convey the spirit of profound ambivalence Jalila and Layla share.

— John Nein

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

Credits

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