With SAND STORM, Elite Zexer demonstrated a high quality of writing to talk about the complexity of family ties.
SAND STORM could appear as a work a bit already, due to its theme distant – that of a young generation of modern as opposed to archaic traditions of the parents. We look back at the sublime Mustang by Deniz Gamze Ergüven , which had marked the spirits in 2015. It was the Turkish youth. The end of 2016, came out Hedi of Mohamed Ben Attia, on a romance impossible in Tunisia shortly after the arab spring. Here, the director Elite Zexer filmed a bedouin village, and that will come out in a month’s Wedding (February 22, 2017) on a pakistani girl who is offered a traditional marriage. The country and surroundings change, but not the speeches nor the will to emancipate themselves of these new filmmakers. Or, rather, “directors” in relation to Deniz Ergüven and Elite Zexer. With sandstorm, it is by the quality of its writing, the mastery of his story and its protagonists that the latter manages to stand out.
In a small village in Israel, Suleiman (Hitham Omari) is preparing to welcome his second wife. Jalila (Ruba Blal), his first wife, tries to make good figure in spite of the humiliation obvious. At the same time, their daughter, Layla, is motivated by a desire for freedom – learn to drive, get an education, simple things it seems. When his mother learns that she has a relationship with a young man of another tribe, the confrontation between the two generations begins.
Sandstorm surprises immediately by the relationship maintenance Layla with her two parents. We are presented with a mother, surprisingly more traditional, while the father seems more open. This is Jalila, who will deny that Suleiman moved to a new bed in the house, because of the presence of women to attend his wedding. It is she that will feel ashamed to have torn her dress, and will be forced to accept that her daughter, who will be here the first sacrifice symbolic. It is also that it will oppose what Layla sees his boyfriend, and even she tries to talk to his father. For the viewer, taking advantage naturally. But this is not so simple. And Elite Zexer manages to reveal to us the true face of his protagonists with great delicacy, like a truth that we may never abrupt. It must be said that the director carefully avoids to fall into a dump of this situation, simply by building his characters with as many qualities as flaws, and not only does never characters black-and-white but beautiful and well built around the shades that drive their beliefs and their decisions.
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In fact, the true facial that will unveil the father, did finally not make someone inherently bad. Simply a man who has, according to him (or rather beliefs), not the choice to do so. “You should do what you want and not what you do ” to him assènera Jalila before turning to the door, putting the side of his daughter, left to be divorced from her husband. Surprising SAND STORM becomes more and more, and reveals the complexity of the relationship between Jalila and Suleiman – it is ultimately a sad story of a couple who no longer understand – as are the hidden feelings of a mother for her daughter. This story of family, rocking gently to the tragic, is no less of a great beauty.
Worn by two performers who play the card of the deduction, supplemented by the ardor of the young and light Lamis Ammar, SAND STORM takes the simplicity of the great films. Elite Zexer , always remaining in the present moment, not embarrassing, not artifice – no music additional to accompany the images, no overall plan, it remains up to the height of a woman. She thus goes from one character to another (of the daughter to the mother mainly) with elegance to reflect a reality. Without falling into the pathos of the film-maker is distinguished from its first feature-length film that manages to charm as much as we grieve, in his last moments, who will Layla make the choice of sacrifice.
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• Achievement : Elite Zexer
• Scenario : Elite Zexer
• Main players : Lamis Ammar, Ruba Blal, Hitham Omari
• Release Date : January 25, 2017
• Duration : 1 h 27 min