From an unlikely country comes an unexpected gem: the provocative story of a nomadic Tunisian family living according to ancient customs but soon feeling the invisible, unavoidable influence of events beyond the distant horizon. The film captures with precise and often subtle imagery the isolation and stark beauty of the northern Sahara Desert, as well as the bountiful simplicity of a life governed solely by the laws of nature and the benevolence of Allah. But when a blight among the sheep forces the eldest son to the big city, he returns home an unwitting harbinger of civilization, with a jeepload of soldiers close behind, looking for recruits (voluntary or otherwise) to fight a distant, unspecified war. The modest style of the film shows an eloquence far beyond its meager (by Hollywood standards) budget, offering a heartbreaking look at yet another ageless culture lost to the mundane (but no less deadly) intrusion of progress.
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