My Father’s Color Period

“Tonight the film will be broadcast in color.”

A rumor spread in 1979 that the state-owned television station would show a film in color despite the fact that most televisions were black and white. Unlike in cities with Arab inhabitants, the majority of the people in the Kurdish area of Iraq still didn’t have color TV sets.

So my father decided to cut a sheet of colored cellophane and stick it on the screen of our TV at home. It stayed a whole week until he switched it to another color. We used to watch films, music videos, and other programs in a single shade of blue, pink, green, or yellow. Later he began dividing the screen in two, three, or four sections with a different color in each area. We watched figures walking from blue to green, or though yellow to purple to pink.

Eventually, he constructed stripes and other elaborate forms.

After a while, I realized that my father was not the only one making his own color TV. Many other people in the Kurdish area had devised their own unique filters.

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