32 year old Dede lives in a remote village in Indonesia with his two children, trying to care for them. Dede, a former fisherman, has an extraordinary skin condition: he has root like structures growing out of his body – branches that can grow up to 5cm a year and which protrude from his hands and feet, and welts covering his whole body.
He is known locally as ‘Tree Man’ and his condition has baffled local doctors for 20 years. In an attempt to earn a living to support his family, he is part of a circus troupe, displaying his Tree Man limbs along with others afflicted with skin deformities in ‘freak’ shows.
Dr Anthony Gaspari, a world expert in skin conditions from the University of Maryland travels to Indonesia to attempt to diagnosis Dede’s mysterious condition. He takes skin samples for biopsies back in the USA.
We go on an intimate journey with the extraordinary Dede, as he tries to eek out a living in a circus troupe to support his family, and as he is given medical help by Dr Gaspari. The identification and possible cure of his condition, could change his whole life.