Talking About Trees

classified PG S

Films That Love the Cinema


Please note: This was screened in Sept 2020

Suhaib Gasmelbari
Suleiman Ibrahim, Ibrahim Shaddad
97 mins, Subtitled, 2019, France | Sudan | Chad | Germany | Qatar
Primary language
Arabic | English | Russian

Four Sudanese filmmakers (retired, but not through their own choice) embark on a heroic adventure to revive a cinema in a country under an oppressive regime in this powerful documentary by director Suhaib Gasmelbari.

Ibrahim, Manar, Suleiman and Altayeb are four close friends who formed part of the Sudanese Film Club. After decades of rule under a government controlled by Islamic fundamentalists, Sudan’s film industry has been stripped bare with much of its industry and heritage destroyed. As the four friends tirelessly struggle against bureaucracy, lack of cash and political opposition to revive an old cinema; their efforts are a quiet act of Sudanese resistance in a country dreaming of place in which art and intellectual thought can be free.

Reflecting on their past and the history of Sudanese cinema, whilst recalling their own shocking experiences of persecution, the strong solidarity and never-failing humour of these remarkable four men paints a beautiful picture of friendship and of hope, even if their journey is far from plain sailing.

‘Profound — a tribute to the strange communal magic of cinema, and what happens when it becomes invisible.’ - Danny Leigh, Financial Times

‘Full of quiet courage and subversive wit, this reminds filmgoers everywhere to take nothing for granted.’- Empire