Haiku on a Plum Tree.
A friend of mine recently introduced me to filmmaker Mujah Maraini-Melehi. Later this week, Mujah will debut her documentary, "Haiku on a Plum Tree" at the IFC Center in NYC.
"Haiku on a Plum Tree" tells the story of Mujah's grandparents, Florentine anthropologist-photographer Fosco Maraini and Sicilian painter Princess Topazia Alliata who left Italy in 1938 for a new life in Japan. After refusing to pledge allegiance to Mussolini’s Republic of Salò, Fosco, Topazia and their three daughters were placed on house arrest and ultimately interned in a Japanese prison camp for two years. Throughout the ordeal, Topazia kept a diary for as long as she had paper and pencil.
Inspired, Mujah collaborated with screenwriter Deborah Belford de Furia, renowned puppeteer Basil Twist, Oscar-winner Ryuichi Sakamota and others to retrace her family's journey to Japan. Mujah's family is full of creatives and influencers. Both her mother, Toni, and aunt, Dacia, are writers. Her father, Mohamed Melehi, is a painter. The list goes on and on. The film seeks to understand the impact and influence of her grandparents' experience.
Thursday night is the film's first screening in NYC. Mujah and Basil Twist will both be on-hand for Q&A. For tickets, go here: http://www.ifccenter.com/films/haiku-on-a-plum-tree.
To watch the trailer, visit: https://vimeo.com/189303626.