BACK
Anbessa
Original title:
Anbessa
Slovenian title:
Anbessa
Section:
KINOBALON
Country, year:
/
Length:
85
Directed by:
Mo Scarpelli
Screenplay:
/
Cinematography:
Mo Scarpelli
Music:
Erik K. Skodvin
Subtitles:
English, slovenian
Language:
/
Voting code:
/
Cast:
/
Awards:
Berlinale 2019, Durban 2019, Human Rights Watch FF 2019, Hot Docs Toronto 2019

Share link:
Description:
Through an intimate coming-of-age story, Anbessa captures one boy taking on modernization on his own terms, revealing a unique and magical perspective on the myth of "progress".
Ten-year-old Asalif and his mother have been displaced from their farmland on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, by the construction of a condominium. To fight back against those casting him out, Asalif taps into a fantasy of becoming his hero: the lion ("anbessa" in Amharic). Asalif uses his imagination to battle forces beyond his control. He must find the strength that resides in him in order to deal with the tides of change that are usurping a community, a country, and his own identity.

"Asalif's imagination and openness captivated me. While he and his mom had recently been displaced by the condo's construction, he is not a victim. Asalif believes he can take on the condo, and the world, when he channels the strength of his favorite animal (the lion). I discovered how crucial this symbol was for him, and this made me confront how much of the modern world rejects not only people who don't obviously fit into the capitalism tapestry, but also rejects tradition - symbols, fantasy and other age-old ways of confronting our inner selves. Asalif still embodies these things, while also adapting and trying to benefit from the new." (Mo Scarpelli)