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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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