“A thoughtful and compassionate documentary.” - Wendy Ide, Observer

“A film that sets anger and to some extent politics to one side in favor of a somber, supportive, emotional portrait.” - Peter Bradshaw, Guardian

Wednesday, April 24, 6:00 p.m. | While millions of birds migrate freely in the skies, a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon yearns for the ancestral homeland she is denied. She challenges Sarah, the Director, to find an ancient mulberry tree that stands as witness to her family’s existence—with only inherited memories, a blind man and a two-headed dragon as her guides. Along the way, Sarah meets with ornithologists whose observations on the homing instincts of the birds highlight the unresolved problems of the region. Spanning fifteen years, this story of a friendship that stays connected across a divided land and a fragmented people adopts a birds’ eye perspective to reflect on freedom of movement, exile and the hope of return. Preceded by FOREVER KHALID (2023, dir. Yousef Salhi, 9 min., Content warning: mental health struggles) and MAR MAMA (2023, dir. Majdi El Omari, 16 min.).

Awards & Nominations

Winner - Amnesty International Award, Best Feature Film, San Sebastián Human Rights Film Festival
Winner - Best Documentary, Barnes Film Festival
Winner - Karama Feather Award, Best Documentary, Karama Human Rights Film Festival
Nominee - Palestinian Sunbird Documentary Award, Best Documentary, Palestine Cinema Days
Nominee - Discovery Award, British Independent Film Awards

Chicago Palestine Film Festival: Founded in 2001, the Chicago Palestine Film Festival (CPFF) is an annual cultural event that serves as a vibrant platform for showcasing the rich and diverse narratives of Palestinian cinema. The festival provides a unique space for filmmakers, artists, and audience members to engage with compelling stories that explore the multifaceted aspects of Palestinian life. View full festival.

The Film Center is ADA accessible. This presentation will be projected without open captions. The theater is hearing-loop equipped. For accessibility requests, please email filmcenter@saic.edu