Four ageing Sudanese filmmakers battle to bring cinema going back to Sudan – not without resistance. Their ‘Sudanese Film Club’ decide to revive an old cinema and draw attention to Sudanese film history.
Winner of multiple awards including the Panorama Audience Award at the Berlin International Film Festival, Talking About Trees, the stunning debut feature from Suhaib Gasmelbari, is a moving, heartfelt documentary that will strike a chord with movie lovers everywhere.
Sudanese nationals and veteran filmmakers Ibrahim Shadad, Suleiman Mohamed Ibrahim, Manar Al Hilo and Altayeb Mahdi have been friends for over 45 years. They left their motherland in the 1960s and 1970s to study film abroad and founded The Sudanese Film Group in 1989. After years of distance and exile they are reunited, and decide to rebuild a cinema just outside Khartoum to remind Sudan that, “Seeing a movie with friends is better than watching one alone at home.”
However, in a country dominated by Islamists who have made the existence of cinema extremely difficult, especially in the public sphere, this proves to be a Sisyphean task. They quickly run into a wall of red tape and official censorship, with the risk of being jailed, or worse. They persevere, determined to leave a legacy and re-ignite a love for cinema in their homeland.
Shooting covertly in Sudan, with funding from France, Chad, Germany and Qatar, Talking About Trees is reminiscent of Buena Vista Social Club in its charming tribute to elderly cinema statesmen and lost African cinema.
Cast & Team
Director Suhaib Gasmelbari
Stars Ibrahim Shadad, Suleiman Mohamed Ibrahim, Manar Al, Altayeb Mahdi
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