The Tree that Remembers

In 1992 a young Iranian student hanged himself from a tree on the outskirts of a small Ontario town. He had escaped the Ayatollah's regime but he could not escape his past.
News of the stranger's death hit home with filmmaker Masoud Raouf. He too is part of the generation of Iranians who rose up against the Shah's despotic rule only to be cruelly persecuted by an equally murderous new regime.

THE TREE THAT REMEMBERS is his compassionate reflection on the betrayal of the 1979 Iranian revolution and the tenacity of the human spirit.

Raouf assembles a group of Iranians, all former political prisoners like himself who were active in the democratic movement. Blending their testimony with historical footage and original artwork, Raouf honors the memory of the dead and celebrates the resilience of the living.

While anchored in a specific history, THE TREE THAT REMEMBERS reflects on the broad themes of oppression and survival, pouring light into a somber universe and finding unexpected fragments of hope.

'A beautifully shot, thoughtfully realized work--a compelling and, at times, heartrending meditation on political violence, on survival of the human spirit, and on the sorrows of exile....Highly recommended.' ***1/2 Gary Handman, Video Librarian

'The historical footage of the revolution and the personal testimony of people who have suffered much combine to make this a powerful documentary... Recommended' Alexander Rolfe, George Fox University, Educational Media Reviews Online

'Raouf's presentation is thoughtfully seasoned with art, delivering a highly professional product. This video is worth seeing; recommended for public and academic libraries.' Library Journal

'An eloquent and powerful film on the suffering of Iranian exiles more than 20 years after the revolution.' T.T. Nhu, San Jose Mercury-Sun

'Extremely well done, elegant, moving, heartbreaking, inspiring interviews. Sound editing was great. Thank you for telling these stories.' Western Psychological Association Film Festival Juror

'In his film The Tree that Remembers director Masoud Raouf delivers a painful and courageous portrayal encompassing the trials and triumphs of the human heart. Bringing a voice to the hundreds of thousands by way of a few, this film offers truths revealed from a world legacy of political prisoners, once adrift in silence, now told by the voices of survivors themselves.' J. Rae Niles, Al Jadid magazine


Main credits

Raouf, Masoud (film director)
Raouf, Masoud (animator)

Other credits

Animator, Masoud Raouf; director of photography, Ali Reggab; original music, Eric LeMoyne, Mark Goodwin.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Conflict Resolution
Human Rights
International Studies
Islamic Studies
Middle East
Migration and Refugees
Social Justice
War and Peace
Women's Studies


Iran, refugees, Ayatollah, Ontario, Shah, Iranian revolution, oppression, survival; "The Tree that Remembers"; Bullfrog Films