Over a five-year collection of visits to her childhood home in the West Texas town of Lubbock, Nadia Shihab explores questions of identity in diaspora through the life and work of her visual artist mother. The daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Nadia is acutely aware of the reductive identities others have projected onto her, but works to defy them, influenced by having grown up watching her mother carve out a space of her own. Revisiting the landscapes of her youth, the poignancy of her mother’s longing for home becomes ever more apparent as she observes her creative process and the seclusion in which she finds herself. The arrival of Nadia’s grandfather from Iraq serves as a reminder of the life her mother left behind, the absence of family, and the supportive partnership she longs for.
Long takes and wide, still images give a photographic quality, leaving room for visual contemplation and a sense of nostalgia. A beautiful portrait of the exploration into the self, Jaddoland weaves intergenerational stories which can only be told through the interactions of those that live them. Our lives are lived in the spaces between us, their interplay creates the meaning we share. -VF
A Radiant Sphere
Sara Wylie, Canada, 2019, 9 mins
The filmmaker enters the archive and discovers a long lost family member — the Canadian Communist poet and political prisoner, Joe Wallace.