Talking About Trees
Impact | Insights
Humour, wisdom, optimism, and passion are in abundant supply here, as director Suhaib Gasmelbari chronicles the efforts of four ageing members of the Sudanese Film Group - all former film directors whose careers were cut short when the fundamentalist dictatorship banned cinema in the early ’90s - to revive a ramshackle outdoor cinema and stage a screening of… Django Unchained!
We quietly observe this intrepid quartet as they make the rounds with their travelling cinema - a laptop, a roll-up screen, a small projector, and a copy of Chaplin’s Modern Times – and slowly progress toward mounting their big show. (The sheer amount of physical labour these spry elderly men put into bringing the open-air cinema back to life is, in itself, rather amazing.) From time to time, we see clips from movies the men made, while their wise and witty commentary in the face of mounting obstacles shows the generosity of spirit that propels them along. Graced with visual wit courtesy of Gasmelbari’s trenchant eye, Talking About Trees also doubles as an extraordinary look at Sudan today.
Audience Award, Panorama Documentary, Berlin 19