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BAWIFM & SF Jewish Film Festival Co-Present: DESERT BRIDES 4:00pm The Roda Theater @ Berkeley

  • 02 Aug 2009
  • 4:00 PM
  • The Roda Theater (at Berkeley Repertory Theatre)


  • Individual Ticket Prices
    Regular Screening
    Members $9
    General Public $10

    (screenings up to and including 5pm)
    Members $7
    General Public $8

    Centerpiece Films
    Members $10
    General Public $15
  • Purchase Online here:

    Saturday, June 20, 3:45 PM
    Roxie Theater

This is a BAWIFM co-present with the 29th San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, July 23 - August 10.

Desert Brides

2008 | Israel, USA | color | 90 min | Language: Arabic, Hebrew

DIRECTOR: Ada Ushpiz

Part of Women Shooting Women: Israeli Documentary Filmmakers

In the city of Rahat in the Negev Desert, seductively festive wedding images become a portal to women’s struggles with polygamy; close-ups hint at the realities of becoming a first wife, second wife or lover in Bedouin culture. Through wedding photographer Mariam Al-Quader’s eyes, Desert Brides (Best Film, Doc Aviv Festival 2008) reveals rare emotional spaces of women who must compete for value and status relative to the desires of men. There is Miriam Al-Nimer, a strong and independent divorcee, who refuses to become a second wife, yet has fallen in love with a married man. First wife Aliya endures in silence while her heart breaks as her husband diverts time, attention and resources (slaughtered lambs) away from her and their children to Al-Nimer. Meanwhile, the older-generation men passionately endorse polygamy to Al-Quader’s husband, who simultaneously refuses to allow his daughter to marry someone she loves. One third of Bedouin women live in polygamous households fueled by a relentless drive back to religion for minority survival in the larger Israeli culture. Displacement, tradition and survival remain colliding forces for women and children.

—Elsa E’der

Copresented by

Bay Area Women in Film & Media and Women's Film Festival


Wed, July 29 2009, 2:15pm
Castro Theatre

Sun, August 2 2009, 4:00pm
The Roda Theater (at Berkeley Repertory Theatre)

Tue, August 4 2009, 2:00pm
Cinearts @ Palo Alto Square‎

Bay Area Women In Film & Media is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All contents © BAWIFM 2003-2015 unless otherwise noted.

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