If these stones could talk
Winner of the IF/Then x The Redford Center Nature Access Pitch 2022
After 50 years away, Nassib Elias returns to a piece of familial land to build a home for his family in Shefa-‘amr, a Palestinian town in the north of Israel. If These Stones Could Talk is a deeply personal film that follows Nassib and his family as they restore the land and tend to the garden, incorporating traditional agricultural methods. As a way to learn more about her heritage, his daughter Hana sets out to film their work on the land over several years. Nassib’s nostalgic image of the land and desire to restore it to his childhood memories is challenged by a changing climate and the rapid urbanization that has occurred in his absence. Across one seasonal cycle, we uncover the nuanced social relationships that tie the family to the land as they are intertwined with the survival of all living things on the soil. If these stones could talk, what would they say? They’ve been observers of ebbs and flows of presence and absence, and the family that returned to build on them.