Ajyal Film Festival 2023

All Films

Talking About Trees (Al hadith 'an al'ashjar)

Special Screening

Suhaib Gasmelbari / Feature Documentary / France, Sudan, Germany, Chad, Qatar / 2019 / 94 min / DCP
In Arabic, English, Russian
Interests: Documentary, Social Issues, Identity


Ibrahim, Suleiman, Manar and Altayeb are founding members of the ‘Sudanese Film Group’. Friends for over four decades, but after years apart due to exile, the quartet of filmmakers are reunited and rekindle their dream of bringing cinema to the masses in their home country of Sudan. From the rubble of their wounded nation’s film industry, and using whatever materials are on hand, the four intrepid friends attempt to restore their country’s cultural history through the power of film.

‘Talking About Trees’ is a genuine labour of love, both for the director Gasmelbari, who clearly has great admiration for the four directors, and also for his subjects whose infectious enthusiasm for cinema is a joy to behold. Inspired by Bertolt Brecht’s quote—“What kind of times are these, when to talk about trees is almost a crime because it implies silence about so many horrors?”—the film is a poignant and thoughtful look at artists forced to come to terms with the fact that their life’s passion for cinema can no longer be expressed or enjoyed where they live.

About the Directors

Suhaib Gasmelbari Mustafa was born in 1979 in Sudan, where he lived until the age of 16. He attended Cinema Studies in France at the University Paris VIII and has worked as a freelance cameraman and editor, collaborating with journalists to direct reports for Al Qarra, Al Jazeera and France 24. He has written and directed multiple short films, both fiction and documentary. 'Talking About Trees' is his first feature film. Suhaib Gasmelbari is also a researcher and was able to find precious lost Sudanese films and took part in saving and digitising them through his work.


Suhaib Gasmelbari
Suhaib Gasmelbari
Marie Balducchi
Nelly Quettier, Gladys Joujou
Executive Producer
Marie Balducchi
Melanie Andernach, Mahamat Saleh Haroun
Suhaib Gasmelbari
Sales Company
Wide House
Production Company
AGAT Films & Cie
ElSadig Kamal, Katharina Von Schroeder
Jean-Guy Véran
Ibrahim Shaddad Suliman Ibrahim Eltayeb Mahdi Manar Al-Hilo Hana Abdelrahman Suliman

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