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The Crack Magazine

fadia's tree.jpg

Fadia's Tree

Director: Sarah Beddington

British visual artist and director Beddington’s documentary, a meditation on migration, exile and longing, is slight but boasts some arresting imagery. Fadia Loubani is a Palestinian refugee who lost her husband when she was nineteen and now lives in a Lebanese refugee centre. Fadia still yearns for her homeland. The documentary was initiated some fifteen years ago when Fadia approached Beddington asking her to go to Palestine and locate the old mulberry tree that stood outside her family house. Beddington goes on to chart her attempts to locate the tree, while interspersing the narrative with details from the resilient Fadia’s troubled family history. There’s also an uplifting depiction of the refugee centre and its cheerfully selfless staff, as well as intermittent visits to an ornithologists in Jerusalem’s old city, which throws up obvious contrasts between the freely migrating birds and the plight of the Palestinian refugees. Even at eighty minutes, the picture feels a bit overextended, but Beddington conjures up an evocatively transient in-stasis feel via an ambient score, and some beautiful renderings of the Great Rift Valley and lilac and gold-hued firmament.