If you've never seen a Muslim woman wearing a headdress AND a baseball cap, then it might be time to check out Sara Ishaq's wonderful, moving film 'The Mulberry House' at the Barbican, which chronicles her visit to see her family in 2011 at the time of the Yemeni Uprising. Sara herself is half Yemeni, half Scottish, and her parents are divorced. Though Sara moved to Scotland to be with her mother, and escape the restrictions that would have been placed on her as a young Muslim woman in Yemen, the film creates an incredible portrait of her father as a larger-than-life character struggling to cope with a changing world. There's a particularly moving moment when Sara, her teenage sister, and her father talk in the garden about the pressures he was putting on Sara to marry young. He claims to have forgotten this - seemingly from embarrassment - now there's little doubt of his pride in his intelligent, independent daughters. Into the middle of this already fascinating family portrait erupts the uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Sara has a cousin imprisoned for treason, so the family has an especially strong interest in seeing Saleh deposed. Their shock at the bloodshed that ensued, and then the underwhelming result of the uprising paints a poignant picture of how unpredictable the ramifications of the Arab Spring have been. As Yemen is convulsed once more by violence, this film - and her accompanying Oscar-nominated short 'Karama Has No Walls', a straightforward yet brilliantly crafted documentary of the revolution -
provides a sharp reminder of what personally is at stake behind the news headlines.