my mother and her sister always argued in arabic, i never understood what was said

HD video, color, sound
5:04 min.

Video, 2016

Voice of Sanaz Sohrabi


[Found VHS footage of a television show that distorts and warps as it plays. The words “PLEASE STOP THE TAPE” appear intermittently in white lettering. While a female voice narrates, yellow subtitles appear, replacing her spoken pronoun “I” with the pronoun “you.” The footage opens to a young boy and girl, the boy swinging on a swing as the two appear to argue in Arabic, presumably over taking turns on the swing. A female figure, likely the girls’ mother, enters the frame and begins chastising the boy, eventually leading to the young girl taking her turn at the swing. The scene then changes to what appears to be a tense conversation between two women inside. The young boy enters and speaks with one of the women, telling her what occurred outside. At the crux of the film, the sound gets louder as the girls’ mother enters the home and an argument breaks out. A third woman enters and the conversation escalates with eyes rolling, fingers pointing and waving, intense stares of anger, and an arm raised as if to strike. The video ends with the boy and his mother entering another room where a father figure is seated on the couch. The young boy goes off screen as the mother and father enter into conversation.]