The constricted lives of Bedouin women in Southern Israel are dramatically examined in a wrenching story of a family torn by tradition and an effort to break away. Director/writer Elite Zexer, having seen Bedouin life first hand, has been inspired to create a story expressing what it is like for women who have grown up in that culture.
Jalila (Ruba Blal-Asfour) suffers the indignity of having to host a wedding for the younger second wife that her crude husband Suliman (Haitham Omari) is taking into the household. Jalila is filled with resentment but is having to make the best of it.
The plot thickens when their 18-year-old daughter Layla (Lamis Ammar) is revealed to have started a serious relationship with a student at their university, They would like to get married. However, the object of her affections is not considered worthy of Layla's family, and besides, her father is intent on making an advantageous marriage for her with the family he has selected.
A refusal by Layla would bring disgrace upon him, but she battles for her rights and is intent upon running away with her beloved. It was a right that was not available to her mother and as much as Layla is liked by her father, he cannot permit disobedience,
Will Layla be able to break away as she desires? Or will she knuckle under and succumb to authority and tradition? And what of the future for Layla's mother? The story grows intensely intimate, and all is wrapped in a depiction of Bedouin lifestyle. Zexer has made an informative and deeply moving film. A Kino Lorber release. Reviewed September 28, 2016.