A film by Nadia Shihab
2018, 90 minutes
No. 248


Winner of the Truer Than Fiction Award at the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards, Jaddoland explores the meaning of home and the search for belonging across generations.

When the filmmaker returns to her hometown in the Texas panhandle to visit her mother, an artist from Iraq, she turns her lens on her mother’s increasingly isolated life, as well as the beauty and solace that emerge through her creative process. Soon, the filmmaker’s charismatic grandfather arrives, still longing for the homeland he recently left. 

While the shadow of geopolitical and historical forces looms on the periphery, the filmmaker searches for unexpected moments of meaning in the everyday, subtly weaving threads between past and present, her mother’s work and her own. In doing so, she draws an artful and deeply intimate portrait of one family reimagining its relationships to the places they call home.

Winner, Truer Than Fiction Award, Film Independent Spirit Awards
Winner, Special Jury Award, San Diego Asian American Film Festival
Winner, Special Jury Mention, New Orleans Film Festival
Official Selection, Hot Springs Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection, DOXA Documentary Film Festival
Official Selection, Dallas International Film Festival
Official Selection, Indie Grits

“Shihab’s palpable love for her mother courses through her film and Jaddoland functions both as a tribute to her work and life as well as a sincere interrogation of the idea of “home,” how the concept morphs and evolves depending on one’s own comfort with their journey.” - RogerEbert.com

"Situated through the filmmaker's personal experience, Jaddoland is an intergenerational portrait of Shihab's Turkmeni Iraqi family in their diasporic Texas home...Resonating with autoethnographic traditions as well as slow and accented cinema, Jaddoland provokes formal and thematic questions of interests to anthropologists and filmmakers alike." - American Anthropological Association

"Intimate, experimental, and beautifully playful." - Documentary Award Jury, Austin Asian American Film Festival

"Jaddoland is a breath of fresh air: a film not tied down by convention or structure, it playfully and thoughtfully plumbs issues of identity, art, and belonging." - Clint Bowie, Artistic Director, New Orleans Film Festival