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Talking About Trees

Suhaib Gasmelbari

Winner of both Documentary and Audience awards at this year’s Berlinale, Talking About Trees is a look at four retired Sudanese filmmakers attempting to revive the cinematic experience in a country determined to suppress it.

"An argument for the cultural vitality of cinema..." 

While the theatrical versus streaming debate rages in the West, spare a thought for four veteran Sudanese filmmakers – Ibrahim Shaddad, Suliman Ibrahim, Eltayeb Mahdi and Manar Al-Hilo – who have been unable to direct a movie in a country where an oppressive regime has all but wiped the national cinema from the culture.

An argument for the cultural vitality of cinema in troubled times, Suhaib Gasmelbari’s lovingly assembled portrait of this ‘Sudanese Film Club’ follows the retired filmmakers as they attempt to revive the cinematic experience in their wounded country, moving from small, sparsely attended laptop showings of classics like Chaplin’s Modern Times to their ambitious attempts to stage a theatrical screening of Tarantino’s Django Unchained.