Sand Storm, the directorial debut of Elite Zexer, tells the story of Jalila, a woman living in an Israeli Bedouin village navigating the challenges of tradition, modernity and divided family. Faced with the indignity of hosting the wedding of her husband to a much younger new wife, as the celebrations continue she learns of her eldest daughter’s forbidden relationship with a boy from her university. Examining the emotionally layered relationship between mother and daughter, both bound by custom while struggling to adapt to a changing world, Jalila tries to contain the situation while her daughter sees a different life for herself. The film will see its North American debut this month at Sundance, and in this exclusive clip, Jalila welcomes her husband’s new wife into their community, while dealing with her own feelings of abandonment and jealousy about the matter.
Shot entirely in Arabic and based on Zexer’s 10 of experience interacting with women of the Bedouin community, Sand Storm took the top award at the Locarno festival’s work-in-progress section. It screens at Sundance January 22 for press and industry at 9:30 AM (Holiday Village Cinema 3), and for the public on January 25 at 8:30 AM (Egyptian Theatre), January 26 at 9:00 AM (Temple Theatre), January 27 at 9:45 PM (Broadway Center Cinema 3), January 29 at 1:00 PM (Redstone Cinema 2), and January 30 at 4:00 PM (Holiday Village Cinema 4).