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Desert Brides

  • Israel
  • Documentary
  • 2008
  • 86 min.
  • Director(s): Ada Ushpiz
  • Producer(s): Ada Ushpiz


Miriam El Kwader, a Bedouin wedding photographer and mother of seven, living in an unknown and neglected Negev village, reveals through her camera lens, the world of Bedouin weddings; the most distressing issue revealed is polygamy.
This is the story of three, relatively educated and independent women, trying to survive, each in their own way in their world – a life of polygamy. One is a “first wife,” living in constant fear that her husband will bring home a second wife. The other two are pushed into marrying already married men, and become “second wives,” forced to cooperate within a structure they despise or are afraid of.

The family tragedies presented in this film, highlight the strength and survival of the social structures and their injustices; leaning usually on the victims partial cooperation.

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Ada Ushpiz


Ada Ushpiz


Ada Ushpiz


Danor Glazer


Ron Goldman

Original Music

Eli Soorani

Original Language



Hebrew, English

Sound editor

Alex Claude

Festival Highlights

  • Winner

    Best Documentary Award
    DocAviv International Film Festival
  • Winner

    Best Documentary Award
    Israeli International Womens' Film Festival
  • Winner

    Best Cinematagraphy
    The israeli Israeli Academy Documentary awards

Femina Womens Film Festival, Brazil, 2009

Belfast Film Festival, Ireland, Maysles Brothers Competition, 2009

Tartu Festival of Visual Cuture, Estonia, 2009

Parnu International Film Festival, , 2009

Taiwan Int. Ethnographic Film Festival, , 2009

Golden Apricot International Film Festival, , 2009

Viscult Ethnograpghic FIlm FEstival, Iceland, 2009

International Documentary Encounters Bogota, Colombia, 2009

OnFilm Festival, USA, 2009

San Fransisco Jewish Film Festival, , 2009

Pitigliani Kolnoa Festival, Italy, 2008

Watch Docs, Poland, 2008

Dok Leipzig, Germany, 2008

Docaviv International Film Festival, Israel, 2008

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