With Nadia Shihab and Lahib Jaddo
When the filmmaker returns to her hometown in the Texas Panhandle to visit her mother, an artist from Iraq, she turns her lens on her mother’s increasingly isolated life, as well as the beauty and solace that emerge through her creative process. Soon, the filmmaker’s charismatic grandfather arrives, still longing for the homeland he recently left. While the shadow of geopolitical and historical forces looms on the periphery, the filmmaker searches for unexpected moments of meaning in the everyday, subtly weaving threads between past and present, her mother’s work and her own. In doing so, she draws an artful and deeply intimate portrait of one family re-imagining its relationships to the places they call home.
|United States, 2018
|Arabic, English, Turkmen
|90 MINS, 00 SECS
Trained as an urban planner and raised in west Texas by an Iraqi mother and a Yemini father, Nadia Shihab began making films in order to explore her connections to the places she calls home. Her films are marked by their intimacy, and often explore the act of forging roots despite internal landscapes of dislocation. Her half-hour film Amal’s Garden (2012) was filmed in northern Iraq and screened in festivals and galleries internationally, including at Cinéma du Réel at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Dubai International Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, and the Arab American National Museum. She has also composed music for films and her soundscapes often build from meditative rhythmic cycles into dense atmospheres streaked with melodic phrasing. Shihab’s work has been supported by the Sundance Documentary Fund, Tribeca Film Institute, the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture, Firelight Media, ENJAAZ, and the Center for Asian American Media. She was a Fulbright Scholar to Turkey and a Flaherty Fellow. She lives and works in Oakland, California.