SAND STORM is original, exotic, fiery and humane -- often simultaneously. What we see happening has the air of something centuries old, even if the plot pivots on how a daughter's cell phone is coincidentally answered by her mother. Taking place mostly in the home of a family in a tribal village in Israel's Negev desert, the film centers on that mother and daughter, both of whom are chaffing at the bit of Bedouin patriarchy.
Elite Zexer, shown at left, it immediately tosses us in media res and then let us fend for ourselves in figuring out what is happening and why. We do, and pretty quickly, although I suspect folk who live in this part of the world may have a stronger connection to the traditions and mores of the characters we see.
Ruba Blal, above) is having to prepare, most unhappily, for her husband's wedding to a new wife, while her daughter (Lamis Ammar, below, right), we soon learn, is carrying on a forbidden romance with one of her university peers (Jalal Masarwa, below, left).
Kino Lorber, in Arabic with English subtitles and running just 88 minutes, has its U.S. theatrical premiere tomorrow, Wednesday, September 28, in New York City at Film Forum, where it will have a two-week run. The film opens in Los Angeles at Laemmle's Royal on October 7. Elsewhere? Perhaps--once word-of-mouth generates.