As with all sibling rivalry, jealousy often rears its ugly head and manifests itself in the form of competition. Such competitions are usually playful and healthy. In this story, Ahmed is out to prove that he is a better marksman than his younger brother, Yussef. It’s this very rivalry that leads Ahmed to shoot and miss a moving car on the road, and Yussef to aim at the bus and hit Susan, thus setting off a series of events that effect four different families in different parts of the world.
Susan accompanies Richard to Morocco with a heavy heart over the loss of their newborn, Sam. On the surface the audience only sees Susan showing contempt for the Morocco. She not only refuses to drink her Coke with the ice provided by the waiter, but forbids Richard from drinking his ice because they don’t know where the water came from. After being shot, and brought to the interpreter’s village, Susan no longer has a choice and must accept the aid of the humble villagers if she is to survive. She smokes from the old woman’s pipe, lays on a dusty mat, and urinates in a pot. It is Susan who makes the most change in regards to her relationship with Richard. She finally allows herself to lean on him for support, and we find that she blames herself for the death of their son. It’s this fear to accept the circumstances of his death that lead her show such contempt for this trip to Morocco. Adding to Susan’s ill feelings for the Moroccan’s, American media spins the shooting as an act of terrorism. In order to prove to the world that Morocco has no terrorists, the police go on a manhunt to find out who is the shooter. Assuming that malicious intentions are the cause of the shooting, Hassan and wife are beaten by the Moroccan police into telling who the new owners of the rifle are. Once Abdullah and his boys are found, the police assume they are a threat and open fire on them. Ahmed is shot, and Yussef gives himself up. Their family is left without their sons. Once again, assumptions and false perceptions of people and their actions lead to loss. “I’m deaf, not blind.” “They look at us like we’re monsters.” This is Chieko’s perception of how people see her and her deaf friends. Add the fact that her mother has recently committed suicide, Chieko isolates herself from her father and her friends with her grumpy attitude and short temper. The loss of her mother leaves her yearning to be held and understood. Or, at least for someone to make an effort to try to understand what she is going through. Unfortunately, she searches in all the wrong places. She forcibly kisses her dentist, leaving him no choice but to ask her to leave. After drinking and popping pills, she heads to the club with her friends and the boys, only to feel alone in a room full of people.