Through the lense of roots, diaspora and cultural identity, Nadia Shihab’s JADDOLAND paints an intimate portrait of a mother through a daughter’s eyes.
On a trip back to her hometown in West Texas, Shihab turns the camera on her mother, an artist from Iraq, whose work explores themes of place and family history, longing and dislocation. Shihab’s playful camera poetically unwraps her mother’s creative journey as she moves between cultures, identities and expectations. When her grandfather arrives from Iraq, a deeper examination of her family unfolds in front of and behind the camera as Shihab peels back the layers of not only her mother’s identity, but her own.
Tender and reflective, the film quietly ruminates on culture that is not only inherited but remade. During a time when immigrant stories are portrayed in the context of crises, JADDOLAND provides a counter narrative; one that meditates on the search for generational belonging and, ultimately, the eternal question of home. — Ashlyn Perri