Sand Storm


Castro Theatre Fri, Jul 22, 2016 8:55 PM
Cinearts at Palo Alto Square Sun, Jul 24, 2016 8:45 PM
Roda Theatre Tue, Aug 2, 2016 8:25 PM
Film Info
Director(s):Elite Zexer
Editor(s):Ronit Porat
Principal Cast:Lamis Ammar
Ruba Blal-Asfour
Cinematographer:Shai Peleg
Screenwriter(s):Elite Zexer
Year of Production:2016
Running Time:97 min.
Language(s):Hebrew w/ English subtitles
Premiere Status:California
Genre-Subject:Coming of Age
Israelis & Arabs


Sponsored by Meredith J. Goldsmith.

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, Sundance Film Festival Catalog