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8.9
/10
1,503 Ratings

Talking About Trees

Directed by Suhaib Gasmelbari
Sudan, France, 2019
Documentary

Synopsis

Ibrahim, Manar, Suleiman and Altayeb, four veteran members of the Sudanese Film Club, embark on a journey in which they aim to revive and old cinema to bring cinemagoing culture back to their country. In the crisis-ridden country, the four friends encounter insurmountable resistance.

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Talking About Trees Directed by Suhaib Gasmelbari

Awards & Festivals

Berlin International Film Festival

2019 | 2 wins including: Glashütte Original – Documentary Award

AFI FEST

2019

Istanbul International Film Festival

2019 | 2 wins including: Special Prize of the Jury

With unfailing artistry, director Suhaib Gasmelbari captures how cinema can be essential and why these men, with their unquenchable passion and respect for one another, deserve to be feted as our godfathers.
February 17, 2019
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Gasmelbari takes a meditative, gently observational approach here. He chooses not to directly interview the four film-makers; instead, what unfolds is a rather lovely poetic portrait of male friendship, cinephilic obsession and elegant dignity.
January 30, 2020
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With unfailing artistry, director Suhaib Gasmelbari captures how cinema can be essential and why these men, with their unquenchable passion and respect for one another, deserve to be feted as our godfathers.
February 18, 2019
Read full article

What are people saying?

  • Jacques de Villiers's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    4 aged Sudanese directors can no longer make films because politics has destroyed their industry. But this doesn't stop them trying to renovate a cinema in order to screen films for free. As a documentarian Gasmelbari cedes stage to this older filmmaking generation, while still maintaining a masterful directorial hand. A moving and oft-amusing paean to cinema & the struggle against the impossibility of its existence.

  • dionysus67's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    Obviously an important testament on cinema's universality (Chaplin's potential for global empathy is still unprecedented) and, in particular, on how African cinema blighted by colonial heritage and subsequent dictatorships struggles to have its voice heard and its aesthetic appreciated, regionally and internationally. The stoic SFC members are charming, but the doc lacks the cinematic rigor one would have expected.

  • Loz Loory's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    Beautifully maintained tone throughout. Despite the repressive forces they are up against, these fellows manage to get so much done with slow dignity and perseverance. It reminds us how much we take for granted: big screens everywhere showing first and second run pictures, and ittle censorship except via the ratings system. Around the world, talent is evenly distributed but opportunity is not.

  • Bilouaustria's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    I didn’t know anything about cinema in Sudan. This gang of old filmmakers trying to resist and promote cinema is delightful and really moving. It could be us : a world where cinema is long passed its prime, almost forgotten, and where a few marginals are still attracted to old movies even if the rest of the world doesn’t care anymore. As clever as they are, dreamers have no chance to stand against a dictator.

  • Kevin's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    Mubi makes us google history, study maps and learn film history from as far away as Sudan, not South Sudan. This is story about the western world’s historical indifference to Africa and the Eastern world’s acceptance. One directors says “We are smarter than them” and another describes how the government closed the film dept. in the 1970s.This film is a tragedy that I wished all thru was dystopian fiction. It's real.

  • Draughtsman Without Contract's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    This is a rather wonderful film: deeply poignant in terms of the commitment to their art; illuminating in terms of their film education; droll in terms of their reaction to what they know will be futile attempts to reopen an open air cinema; uplifting in terms of their personal bonds despite political repression and a regime which is amongst the worst on the planet; melancholy in terms of what has been lost.

  • badafly's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    One of those movies that broke my heart. In a society of suppression and dictatorship, the personal battles become resignations, just because even if we are smarter, they are stronger. Charlie Chaplin probably is crying inside out on that projected wall.

  • viola mombe's rating of the film Talking About Trees

    toccante e malinconico. la tragedia di un intero paese raccontata attraverso il tentativo di 4 anziani registi sudanesi di riaprire un vecchio cinema chiuso durante la dittatura. straordinario nel suo essere allo stesso tempo desolante e rassicurante, nel disperato tentativo di levare tutta la polvere che da anni soffoca pellicole, schermi, idee e libertà