Fadia’s Tree, dir. Sarah Beddington, United Kingdom 2021, 84 min., English & Arabic with English subtitles
Fadia is a Palestinian refugee stranded in Lebanon, unable to visit her ancestral homeland barely 60 miles across an unbreachable border. An ancient mulberry tree in northern Palestine apparently bears witness to her family’s former life – and Fadia challenges friend and filmmaker Sarah Beddington to find it, guided only by a blind man, a two-headed dragon and a wealth of inherited memories.
Drawing parallels between Fadia’s desire to return to a home she’s never visited and the homing birds who migrate blithely across borders at will, Beddington’s feature is a potent story of a 15-year friendship that stays strong across a divided land. A single person and a single tree become the perfect prisms through which to consider the nature of freedom, of exile – and of home.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Sarah Beddington, hosted by The Upcoming features editor Sarah Bradbury.