Fadia’s Tree

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Past Event

This event was on Sun 15 May, 4pm

Access Information

Fadia’s Tree, 2021, feature documentary, 82min. Director: Sarah Beddington.

Fadia’s Tree is a feature documentary that weaves together the homing instinct of migratory birds as they travel through the eastern Mediterranean region with an intimate portrait of Fadia, born into a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon.

Beginning with a chance encounter in Beirut fifteen years ago, the film is also the story of a friendship between Fadia and the director. Forbidden access to historic Palestine, Fadia challenges Sarah to travel there on her behalf and find an ancient mulberry tree. A tree that once grew next to her grandfather’s house – a witness to her family’s existence as well as their enforced exile in 1948.

As Sarah begins her quest, she meets a Palestinian ornithologist who explains the importance of the area to bird migration. Intrigued by how the homing instinct of millions of migrating birds seems to create trajectories that connect a fractured land and a scattered people, she meets with other ornithologists who inadvertently spell out the unresolved problems of the region.

While political lines restrict movement on the ground, Fadia’s Tree adopts a bird’s eye perspective to soar upwards and reflect on freedom of movement and the logic of the natural world in relation to an unresolved history, the isolation of exile and an undimmed hope of return.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Fadia and Sarah Beddington.

About Sarah Beddington

Sarah Beddington is a visual artist and filmmaker based in London. Her works in film and video, sculpture, performance and public art, explore the overlaps between the historical, the mythical and the everyday, often focusing on journeys and migration. Traces in the landscape and the role of memory are also important components, connecting seemingly disparate elements across time and space and opening up the potential for alternate realities.

After completing a Masters Degree in Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s, Beddington shifted her focus from painting to the moving image on relocating to New York in 2002. She has completed multiple film and video works that have been shown internationally in film festivals, museums, non-profit spaces and galleries including: Sheffield DocFest; Liverpool Biennale; Centre Pompidou, Paris; MASS MoCA, USA; FidMarseille International Film Festival; LOOP film and video festival, Barcelona; Hayward Gallery, London; San Francisco Film Festival; Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio and The Drawing Center, New York. Her work is in many public collections including Arts Council England.

Fadia’s Tree is Sarah Beddington’s first feature length film.