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Sand Storm | 2016 Sundance Film Festival Review

25 January 2016 9:30 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The Member of the Wedding: Zexer’s Debut Churns Empathy from Obscene Custom

We’ve seen an increasing tide of feminist perspective narratives detailing the despicable social sleights faced by women in various (usually Middle Eastern) cultures, many of these focusing on a particularly awkward situation where tradition allows men to take a second wife while his first is still alive and well. Such is the starting point for Sand Storm, the impressive debut from Israeli filmmaker Elite Zexer. But audiences thinking they’re already familiar with how these pained scenarios tend to unfold will be pleasantly surprised when they realize Zexer has something a bit more complex and unpredictable in store. What begins as a tale concerning a powerless woman begrudgingly accepting her fate becomes a moving portrait of a mother commending better possibilities for the future of her daughter, creating a glimmer of hope in an endless denial of agency. »

- Nicholas Bell

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