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Talking About Trees

This beautifully shot feature debut, winner of the Berlinale Best Documentary Award, couldn’t be timelier for Sudan.

Dir-Scr Suhaib Gasmelbari
Prod Marie Balducchi
France-Sudan-Germany-Chad-Qatar
2019
93min
UK Distribution New Wave Films
With English subtitles

Suliman and three further members of the 'Sudanese Film Club' have decided to revive an old cinema. They are united not only by their love of cinema and their passionate desire to restore old film stock and draw attention to Sudanese film history once more, but also by the fact that they have all enjoyed a film education in exile. Tirelessly, they try to get the cinema's owners on their side and make the place operational again, but repeatedly find themselves up against considerable resistance. In the meantime, they sit together and talk about the past - including their experiences of persecution and even torture as oppositional artists. They also read out old letters written while in exile and dream of a Sudan in which art and intellectual thought can be free. 'We are smarter than them, but not as strong,' is how they unanimously summarise their situation.

Keith Shiri


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