Why is my grandfather's bed in our living room?
An Emirati family lost their ancestral house to community development plans aimed at modernizing the city. As they recall the sudden loss of the family house, it is apparent that a century old wooden bed, the only tangible memory that remains, is a poignant feature of their story. The attachment of both the house and the bed are intertwined together in the bittersweet memories of the family members.
Sarah Alhashimi is a filmmaker from the UAE. Her first documentary short, about the challenges of an autistic adult and his family, received international recognition at festivals worldwide. Her vision is to continue to make films from the region that reach international audiences and help open up more conversations about challenges faced within the community that she lives in through the cinematic lens of the creative community based in the UAE.
There were multiple topics that I wanted to touch upon with this film. For starters, the constant nostalgia of growing up in a fast-paced city. I remembered how upset I was when I found out that the arcade I was always at as a kid was gone when I went back after a summer trip. I wonder about the inexplicable grief I experience while driving past old buildings and spaces I frequented as a child, the last surviving memories of a constantly changing and unfamiliar city.
This led me to question my family’s attachment to my grandfather’s hundred-year-old bed sitting in the middle of a living room at my aunt’s house. I documented my family telling the story of how we lost my grandfather’s house and our attachment to a 100-year-old bed. For the first time my family recalls their memories of the bed, the house and the grief they felt at losing my grandfather’s house to city development plans.