God's Sandbox

A haggard middle-aged author shows up at a beach resort to retrieve her wandering daughter and ends up listening to a young Arab bartender's account of a European free spirit who came decades earlier with a group of hippies and fell in love with a bedouin prince. Director Doron Eran doesn't wait long to connect the dots between the mother and the blond siren from the past, whose sweaty romance with the sheikh brought censure from his tribe. The lovers' seduction in the sand borders on laughable soft porn; later in this 2002 film, an act of genital mutilation (part of a prenuptial ritual) injects an unexpected note of terror that reverberates to the end. In Hebrew and Arabic with subtitles. 86 min.

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