The Mulberry House

Sara Ishaq, Yemen / Syria / Egypt / Scotland / United Arab Emirates, 2013, color, DCP, 65'
Synopsis

Sara Ishaq is Yemeni-Scottish and spent her childhood in Yemen. At the onset of puberty, she agreed with her father that she should go live with her mother in Scotland. Ten years later, in 2011, she traveled back to her birth country and took her camera along. She wants to feel at home in the place that was once so close to her, but it’s more complicated than that. Outside the gates, people are protesting against President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s authoritarian rule, and Ishaq and her family get involved. Family members donate blood and cook lots of food for the demonstrators on the square. Ishaq makes a contribution of her own by acting as a correspondent, sharing local news with the international press. In this personal film, the director records events in her own home throughout this tumultuous period, because it’s not only outdoors that changes are afoot. Shifts are taking place in her relationship with the country – and with her father, who starts seeing his daughter through new eyes and is proud of her courage and dedication. She films their conversations, as well as everyday life at home, where there are lots of guests and the children are always running around, and where her father and grandfather rule the roost.

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