Filmmaker Nouf Aljowaysir found it impossible to give a clear answer to the question “where are you from?” since she was 13, when she went to live in the US. She was born in Saudi Arabia; her family originally came from Iraq. These are not just places you can point to on a map, search for on Google or look up in Wikipedia. They are also personal memories, smells, family ties and things that simply can’t be explained in a single sentence.
In this original and incisive video essay, Aljowaysir talks to an AI system speaking with a British accent, which asks her where she comes from and interprets her answers. The director adds personal stories and images, while the AI makes connections that reveal how Western its world view remains, with prejudices about the Middle East and limitations in terms of factual knowledge. What ensues is a personal explanation of Aljowaysir’s genealogy and life history, and a confrontational, sometimes jarring conversation about migration and identity.