Press Release

June 8 2023

‘POV’ Presents an Intimate View of a Woman Living With ALS and a Family Pushed to Its Tipping Point in the Remarkable Eat Your Catfish


New York, N.Y. – June 8, 2023 – POV, America’s longest running non-fiction series, provides a balanced, in-depth look at Kathryn, a woman paralyzed by late-stage ALS in the wryly moving family portrait, Eat Your Catfish. Reliant on round-the-clock care, she clings to a mordant wit while yearning to witness her daughter's wedding. Narrated by Kathryn and pictured entirely from her point of view, co-directors and producers Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen and Noah Amir Arjomand — who is Kathryn's son — deliver a brutally frank and darkly humorous portrait of a family teetering on the brink, grappling with the daily demands of disability and in-home caregiving.

Eat Your Catfish makes its national broadcast premiere on POV Monday, July 24, 2023 at 10pmET/9C (check local listings) and will be available to stream at, and the PBS Appuntil October 22, 2023. In addition to standard closed captioning for the film, POV, in partnership with audio description service DiCapta, provides real time audio interpretations.

With her daughter Minou’s wedding day approaching, Kathryn is determined to live to see her child get married. Years with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease, have left Kathryn paralyzed and needing 24-hour care. She relies on an eye-tracking, speech-generating computer to impart her wishes, but it can be an uphill struggle to be ‘heard’. With her mind intact and having opted for mechanical breathing, she could live like this indefinitely. But the destructive manner in which Kathryn’s family is handling the situation further complicates an already strained dynamic. Her husband Saïd feels embittered and alienated, and dedicated nurses and aides are hard to find and keep. Her grown son Noah, who lives with Kathryn and Saïd in their New York City apartment, struggles to balance his academic obligations with those he feels to his mother. Amid all the tension and hardship, Kathryn endures her condition, even as she questions her own decision making.

With both empathy and gallows humor, Eat Your Catfish directors Isenberg, Tüzen and Arjomand draw on 930 hours of footage—all filmed without any crew present, to record Kathryn’s outlook and hopes for the rest of her time on Earth while presenting an unvarnished account of a family’s bond.

"It was an honor and privilege to be able to work with such intimate footage,” said Adam Isenberg, co-director/producer. “I hope viewers who are going through something similar will feel seen, and that this film may open up discussions about what terminal illness and in-home care can do to a family. There is a temptation in these situations to blame others for their shortcomings, but I hope this film will help people see that in such an impossible situation for the terminally ill and their caregivers just getting through a day is commendable. We are imperfect beings and sometimes simply surviving hardship together is an act of love."

When asked about telling his family’s story, Noah Amir Arjomand, co-director/producer said: “As a twenty-something caring for my mom and sparring with my dad in a once-grand Harlem apartment, I found it impossible to explain our shared experience to outsiders. I couldn’t articulate the strange mix of claustrophobia, weary perseverance, and bedlam comedy. I turned to the immediacy of film to show rather than tell what it meant for my dad, thrust unprepared into an attendant role; me, lost between love and resentment; and my mom, her rich inner life overtaken by the difficulty of communicating even her basic needs. I hope Eat Your Catfish succeeds in making life with and around ALS relatable and our shortcomings understandable without shying away from hard realities.”

"Although we see and hear Kathryn's story from her own perspective, we want the viewer to feel they are shifting between each of the family member's viewpoints in a way that fosters empathy with each of them,” added Senem Tüzen, co-director/producer. “We looked to reveal humorous moments in the everyday flow of life, even in the most painful moments of the strained household. Despite all their troubles, we wanted to ask the fundamental questions: What is the essence of the nuclear family, and why for many of us is it indispensable? Kathryn's fading health is a starting point to delve into questions about what it means to be human, what and whom we live for, and how we find purpose."

"What attracted our programming team to Eat Your Catfish, was the rawness of the filmmaking and the style the directors used to convey Kathryn's experience as a woman paralyzed, but whose mind was 100% intact," said Chris White, Executive Producer of POV. "Her son Noah's unspoken and deep-seated intimacy with family members allows viewers to experience the moments of happiness and distress felt by everyone who cares about Kathryn."

Eat Your Catfish made its world premiere in 2021 at IDFA in the Envision Competition and received a nomination for Best Documentary. In 2022, the film won Best Documentary at the Istanbul International Film Festival and won Best International Documentary at the Antenna Documentary Festival. The same year it was also nominated for a Best Feature Documentary Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, and Turkish Film Critics Association (SIYAD) Awards. The documentary also received a nomination for the Youth Jury Award at the 2022 Sheffield International Documentary Festival.

"An unusually unsentimental, everyday document of ALS, tender in the expressly painful manner of a fresh bruise.”

—Guy Lodge, Variety

"Intimate, brutally honest...crucially, the film gives Kathryn a platform to tell—and indeed show—her story, in her own unique way. Her lingering hope is that viewers don’t think she’s pathetic, but plucky. Painstakingly edited by Adam Isenberg and Senem Tüzen, this film grants her that wish.”

—Nikki Baughan, Screen International

Eat Your Catfish is produced by Zela Film. Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen and Noah Amir Arjomand are the co-directors and producers. Noah Amir Arjomand is the cinematographer. Adam Isenberg and Senem Tüzen are the editors. Erika Dilday and Chris White are the executive producers for American Documentary | POV.


Download photos here.


Eat Your Catfish

Directors: Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen, Noah Amir Arjomand

Producers: Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen, Noah Amir Arjomand

Cinematographer: Noah Amir Arjomand

Editors: Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen

Executive Producers: Erika Dilday, Chris White

Languages: English Countries: USA, Turkey, Spain

Year: 2021

About the Filmmakers

Adam Isenberg, Director/Producer/Editor, Eat Your Catfish

Adam Isenberg's debut documentary, A Life Without Words (2011), winner of the Margaret Mead Filmmaker Award, told the story of two deaf siblings in rural Nicaragua who had been denied access to a sign-language community. Like Eat Your Catfish, it explored complex family dynamics, limits of communication, and questions of belonging. During ten years living in Turkey, Isenberg hosted and, along with Senem Tüzen, co-created and co-directed the long-running travel documentary series Adem’in Seyir Defteri on Turkish State television. He also co-produced and co-edited Tüzen’s debut fiction feature Motherland (2015), which premiered at the 30th Venice International Film Critics' Week, and earned two FIPRESCI prizes, among other accolades. He is from California, lives in Barcelona, and holds Spanish citizenship.

Senem Tüzen, Director/Producer/Editor, Eat Your Catfish

Senem Tüzen was born in Ankara and has a degree in Film & Television from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. She lives in Barcelona with Spanish residency. Her debut film Motherland (2015), which she also wrote, plumbed the depths of a layered and dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship in an Anatolian village. It premiered at Venice Critics’ Week and won multiple international and domestic awards including Best Film, Best Directing and Best Script from the Turkish Film Critics’ Association. She produced and edited Adam Isenberg’s documentary A Life Without Words (2011). Her second fiction feature, which is set in Barcelona, is in development.

Noah Amir Arjomand, Director/Producer/Cinematographer, Eat Your Catfish

Noah Amir Arjomand is an Iranian-American sociologist with degrees from Columbia and Princeton universities. He is currently a chancellor’s distinguished fellow in creative writing and writing for the performing arts at the University of California - Riverside. Noah’s photography has been published in The Guardian, Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, and PBS Frontline. Cambridge University Press published his first book, Fixing Stories, on news fixers who assist foreign journalists in Turkey and Syria, in 2022. Eat Your Catfish is his film debut.


About POV

Produced by American Documentary, POV is the longest-running independent documentary showcase on American television. Since 1988, POV has presented films on PBS that capture the full spectrum of the human experience, with a long commitment to centering women and people of color in front of, and behind, the camera. The series is known for introducing generations of viewers to groundbreaking works like Tongues Untied, American Promise, Minding The Gap and Not Going Quietly, and innovative filmmakers including Jonathan Demme, Laura Poitras and Nanfu Wang. In 2018, POV Shorts launched as one of the first PBS series dedicated to bold and timely short-form documentaries. All POV programs are available for streaming concurrent with broadcast on all station-branded PBS platforms, including and the PBS App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Samsung Smart TV, Chromecast and VIZIO. For more information about PBS Passport, visit the PBS Passport FAQ website.

POV goes “beyond the broadcast” to bring powerful nonfiction storytelling to viewers wherever they are. Free educational resources accompany every film and a community network of thousands of partners nationwide work with POV to spark dialogue around today’s most pressing issues. POV continues to explore the future of documentary through innovative productions with partners such as The New York Times and The National Film Board of Canada and on platforms including Snapchat and Instagram.

POV films and projects have won 46 Emmy Awards, 27 George Foster Peabody Awards, 15 Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, three Academy Awards® and the first-ever George Polk Documentary Film Award. Learn more at and follow @povdocs on social media.

About PBS

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirm that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, or by following PBS on Twitter, Facebook or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.

About American Documentary, Inc.

American Documentary, Inc. (AmDoc) is a multimedia company dedicated to creating, identifying and presenting contemporary stories that express opinions and perspectives rarely featured in mainstream media outlets. AmDoc is a catalyst for public culture, developing collaborative strategic engagement activities around socially relevant content on television, online and in community settings. These activities are designed to trigger action, from dialogue and feedback to educational opportunities and community participation.

Major funding for POV is provided by PBS, the Open Society Foundations, The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Wyncote Foundation, Reva & David Logan Foundation, Park Foundation, and Perspective Fund. Additional funding comes from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Chasing the Dream and Peril and Promise public media initiatives of The WNET Group, Chris and Nancy Plaut, Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee and public television viewers. POV is presented by a consortium of public television stations, including KQED San Francisco, WGBH Boston and THIRTEEN in association with WNET.ORG.

About Dicapta

Dicapta Corporation is a communications technology company focused on making media accessible for people with visual and hearing disabilities. It has been offering high quality audio description, captioning, and language customization services since 2004. Dicapta has served the TV industry, media companies, educational institutions, and variety of organizations in making communications accessible to everyone. Dicapta has also been funded by the United States Department of Education and the United States Department of Health and Human Services to work in the creation of accessibility assets and the development of technology to improve access to media for people with sensory disabilities.

About All4Access

All4Access is a global repository that stores media accessibility assets such as captions, audio description, and American Sign language. It simplifies the way assets are shared and used while protecting the rights of media creators. All4Access is a technology created by Dicapta and the Universidad Carlos II de Madrid, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Education.