DON'T GET TOO COMFORTABLE
(MULTIMEDIA SHORT FILM)
Shaima Al-Tamimi - Director, Photographer, Narrator
Mayar Hamdan - Producer, Editor, Animator
Magnum Foundation, Prince Claus Fund, Women Photograph, Doha Film Institute, Qumra
9:00 mins | Color/B&W, DCP, 16:19 | Yemen, USA, Netherlands, Qatar, UAE | English, Swahili, Arabic
More than fifty years after his death, Shaima Al-Tamimi shares a heartfelt multimedia letter addressed to her paternal grandfather reflecting on her family's journey of migration and resettlement while examining the intergenerational burden of relocation impacting Yemeni migrants and their descendants for decades to come.
When Shaima Al-Tamimi’s paternal grandfather migrated from Yemen to Zanzibar half a century ago to find work , little did he know that migration would continue as a pattern for later generations of his family. Having lived through a deadly revolution in the early ‘60s powered by British colonialism, he fled back to Yemen with members of the family, including Shaima’s father. Fast forward 55 years and five countries later, Shaima is settled in Qatar following a childhood in the United Arab Emirates. She is a member of a generation of Yemenis who have grown up confused, marginalised and deprived of opportunities to thrive due to the limitations of being a Yemeni passport holder even while living outside their homeland.
Don’t Get Too Comfortable fuses archival images, found footage, parallax animation and sound design to create a multimedia letter to the director’s paternal grandfather, reflecting on the migration and resettlement of her family following his death over fifty years ago. Family photos, images of archival materials and self portraits by the director place the viewer in between time and space, calling attention to the collective feeling of statelessness and sense of being felt by Yemeni migrants and their descents.
The multimedia letter is an ode to Shaima’s ancestors, acknowledging and appreciating the intricate legacies rooted in a painful past and its implications for a new generation of Yemenis living outside their homeland. Through reflecting on her own family’s journey of migration and resettlement, she examines the consequences of relocation on Yemeni migrants and their descendants. This introspection attempts to heal intergenerational trauma, creating space for a new and more nuanced narrative of Yemeni migration.