Reviews, articles, rants & ramblings on the darker side of the media fringe

The Sand Storm

Set in an arid future, where dwindling water supplies are sending the inhabitants of a city to the brink of chaos, Jason Wishnow’s “low-fi sci-fi” short The Sand Storm presents us with a dystopian vision of a potential life on Earth, based on real concerns over diminishing resources. Starring Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, making his acting debut and shot by renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle (Hero, In the Mood For Love), this high-profile short transports viewers into a frighteningly believable projection of what could happen to our world if gripped by a global water shortage.

Feeling a little narratively unbalanced, Wishnow’s story focuses largely on a love-triangle, with the film’s most interesting character, Ai Weiwei’s water smuggler, feeling a little like he’s left on the peripheries. Described as “the implied set-up to an even bigger story”, whilst The Sand Storm does feel a little incomplete, as an introduction to a universe we’ll hopefully see more of, it’s a perfect set-up. Presenting us with just enough glimpses of his intriguing futuristic world and leaving us eager to find out more about Ai Weiwei’s character, it feels like we’re just seeing the very tip of Wishnow’s promising narrative.

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