Berlinale: Programme

Film File

Panorama Dokumente

Talking About Trees

## ## ## ## ## ## ## ##

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. It is in laconic moments such as these that the viewer is able to perceive the friendship, as well as the bond and ideological solidarity that exists in the struggle for common ideals.
Suhaib Gasmelbari puts the history of Sudanese cinema at the centre of his film and at the same time sheds light on the current situation in a country shaken by ongoing crises.

Suhaib Gasmelbari

France / Sudan / Germany / Chad / Qatar 2019

Arabic, English, Russian

Documentary form
93’ · Colour

World premiere


Written and directed by
Suhaib Gasmelbari
Suhaib Gasmelbari
Nelly Quettier, Gladys Joujou
Sound Design
Jean Mallet, Jean-Guy Veran
Elsadig Kamal, Katharina von Schroeder
Assistant Director
Hana Abdelrahman Suliman
Production Manager
Marie-Frederique Lauriot-dit-Prevost
Marie Balducchi
Executive Producer
Marie Balducchi
Melanie Andernach, Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Made in Germany Filmproduktion, Köln
Goï Goï Productions, N'Djaména


Suhaib Gasmelbari

Born in Sudan in 1979, he lived there until the age of 16. He studied film at the Université Paris 8 in France and worked as a freelance cameraman and editor for Al Qarra, Al Jazeera and France 24. He has written and directed many short fiction films and documentaries. Talking About Trees is his first feature-length documentary. During his research into Sudanese audio-visual archives he found some films believed to have been lost and actively participated in national and international projects to save and digitise them.

Filmography (selection)

2012 Oda Nagam (Ode To My Feet); short film

Bio- & filmography as of Berlinale 2019

Produced by

AGAT Films & Cie

World sales

Wide House