We Would Be Freer

Rana Nazzal Hamadeh

2023, 08:41 minutes, colour, English and Arabic, with English subtitles

TAPECODE 2163.00

we would be freer (بنكون اكتر احرار) is a short film reflecting on the relationship between native plants and peoples living under settler-colonialism. Through storytelling, the film takes a look at the sumac plant as a medicine, a powdered spice, a dye, and more. Known for its zesty taste and bright colour, different varieties are found around the world. In particular, staghorn sumac is native to parts of Turtle Island and tanner’s sumac to the eastern Mediterranean. Weaving between the voices of two women, one from the Mohawk community of Kahnawá:ke and the other an internally displaced refugee in Ramallah, we would be freer invites you to contemplate the role of the sumac plant in two occupied lands that lie far apart. Mimicking the progression of the plant’s flowers from yellow to green to red, the short film is a cyclical reflection on connection to land, sustainability, and wild plants.

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