The African wilderness is getting a lot of love from docs lately: two months ago, the sobering Boys of Baraka; now, Desert Wind. Wind follows 12 strangers, picked to live in the Tunisian desert to have their lives taped, and find out what happens when white guys stop being polite, and start getting real. These generally normal, well-to-do Francophones, who range in age from early thirties to seventies, embark on a two-week guided-by-camels sojourn in the Sahara that turns into a therapeutic group-psychology bull session.
Led by a Swiss psychotherapist, the men confront their emotions and explode our beer-and-football notions of male bonding. Cynics may say these cats are a few sloppy man-hugs away from a Brokeback orgy. But their newfound openness with each other and themselves makes for funny, moving and riveting viewing, even if we never quite get the sense the desert has much to do with it.
Opens February 15 at Film Forum