A necessary resurrection of ignored African history.
I should start this off by saying that being of Japanese and Caucasian decent I could possibly be an errored commentator to this film; however I was truly moved and inspired by watching it and interacting with its director (Haile Germina) at the LA African Film Festival. Also knowing my background what connected to me about the film was not the same as the rest of its audience, but it speaks on many levels (mine may seem a bit flat, so see the movie yourself). With that being said...
The film is a dramatic documentation of the 1896 attempted colonization of Ethiopia by Italy. Ethiopia like many African countries contains a rich history and culture ignored by the west. And more so ignored by American mentality. The battle of Adwa and story of Emperor Manalik and Empress Taitu are legendary and should be a part of the human history. Instead we learn about Christopher Columbus and such annihilating greats. At the time of Adwa and the many years to follow Manalik and Taitu were viewed as champions to much of the world. They had accomplished what would be considered impossible by defeating the Italians, their story spread as far as the Americas. This is a great showing of the battle of Adwa what lead to it and what preceded it. The film also previews its (in the making) sequel, a documentary to show 40 years latter. Another great feat one that most other nations could boast of, Haile Salassie holding off the Italian Fascists.
The film is a must see. So little is shown about this defeat of European arrogance. The film is not about military victory, but a victory of morals. Just in the poetics that this film speaks it is sure to connect to anyone open to it.
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