This piece is a re-framing of a decade-old home movie, complete with literally translated subtitles. On the levels of sound, image, and text, the video as a whole reflects both my understanding of and disconnect from the events of my childhood -- a ten-year-old me guided the original camera, and later re-recorded its content from my grandmother’s television set. Though the piece is requisitely nostalgic, and so laced with regret, it is also elated. The frantic actions of my cousins (who now seem more like “characters”) are lovingly contained in this document that remembers fondly yet accepts change, and which celebrates linguistic development and interpersonal communication in a world of children.
Throughout, the piece alludes to some second world. The children constantly move in and out of the frame, and off-screen an adult’s voice invites the girls to “come take care of the table, now” and then to eat dinner. Perhaps she calls from a more “real” place, but the camera never strays from the play-kitchen scene. Here, as in many home movies, the makers create a parallel space, and we as viewers are invited or even expected to take it for what we are told that it is.
Anecdotally and perhaps unsurprisingly, the main subject of the video, my cousin Lisa, is now an award-winning teacher.